Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pumpin Pie Mousse Parfaits

Is it a little too early to be thinking about Thanksgiving? Nah. I'll blame it on my husband, he just put in for Thanksgiving leave this week. We're headed home to celebrate this year, and I couldn't be more excited. It's been a year since we've been home (Indiana) and I'm excited to see everybody and even more excited to bake the turkey dinner along with my mother and sister. This year I think I'll switch it up and make  some of these pumpkin pie mousse parfaits instead of the traditional pie. I have to admit these are really yummy even though pumpkin isn't my favorite pie. I'm a cherry pie kind of girl...even better if it's cheesecake...or chocolate peanut butter...darn now I'm ready for Thanksgiving and it's not even October 1 yet! Clearly I have calendar issue too.

I'm also blaming Duncan Hines for my Thanksgiving thoughts, because recently two new frosting creations flavors hit the shelves: pumpkin spice and apple pie. I was really stoked to see them because...we were given a chance to sample these flavors at the Duncan Hines secret test kitchen. So I've had to keep them a secret since then...and you should know I'm no good at secrets! I knew I wanted to make something with them right away but wasn't sure just yet...until my brother requested a pumpkin version of my winning mousse recipe. Duh! Now why didn't I think about that...and so these pumpkin spice mousse parfaits were born from the hungry belly of a 16 year old. Who would have known that pesky little bother would come in so handy one day. They took a little more effort then the chocolate one but they were still easier and quicker then baking a pie. 

The parfaits are layered with pie crust, pumpkin mousse, then topped with whipping cream and cute little cinnamon pie crust leafs. A few weeks ago Christy form Love From the Oven posted these pumpkin pie cupcakes with cinnamon leaf toppers on them. It was such a brilliant idea I knew I would have to try it. The toppers are my favorite for sure. Oh and I should probably let you know the whole sha-bang can be pulled together in about 15 minutes. I should know...because I started them 20 minutes before heading out to girls night and still made it on time, not that I'd recommend that or anything :).

Ready to whip up some of your own? Here's what your going to need:

1 box of rolled pie crust
1 can of Duncan Hines starter icing
1 packet of Pumpkin Spice flavor creations
1 8 oz heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
7 TBS powdered sugar
1 TSP cinnamon + 1 TSP for sprinkling
1 TSP sugar
1 TSP softened butter

Other items you'll need:
small dessert glasses or cups
mini leaf cookie cutter
piping bag + round tip (optional)
parchment paper

This recipe makes enough to fill 12 5oz dessert cups.  

Step 1: Place  metal mixing bowl and whisk in freezer for about 5 minutes. This will help your whipping cream whip up. While your waiting preheat the oven to 400.

Step 2: Beat whipping cream until  nice and fluffy. Add in 7 TBS of powdered sugar. Mix well.

Step 3: Remove about 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream and set aside to use for topping later.

Step 4: Mix flavor packet into icing can. 

Step 5: Add pumpkin spice icing and pumpkin puree into whipping cream. Mix well. Then add in 1 TSP of cinnamon. Once mixed set in fridge to keep cool.

Step 6: Roll out 1 of the pie crusts on a clean counter, cut out your leaf shapes. I made 14 so I had a few extra just in case. Cut up the remaining dough into about 2 X 2 inch sections. Don't worry about shape your just going to break them up. In case your wondering why I have circles cut first attempt was to just layer circled pie pieces...but they got lost in the mousse. :) If your going to be using larger cups I would recommend using baking up some of the second roll of pie crust.

Step 7: Lay all your pie pieces on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix remaining 1 TSP of cinnamon and sugar. Brush leaf toppers with melted butter and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake at 400 for about 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on them..because they can burn really quick.

Step 8: After the crust pieces have cooled down...set the leaf toppers aside and break up the rest in a bowl.

Step 9: Now layer the pie crust and pumpkin mousse in your dessert cups. You layers may vary depending on your serving size. I used 5 oz dessert cups and just under 1 TBS of pie crumbs for each layer.

You can spoon your mousse if you'd like. To keep it nice I used a pipping bag and a round tip. A cut Ziplock would do just fine of course. 

Step 10: Once your layers are done, either spoon or pipe a small amount of whipping cream on top. Then top with leaf toppers.

Easy as pie...well even easier really, so maybe it should be easy as pie mousse ;)

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Let's talk about...buttercream.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Swirly Halloween Cookies

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Friday, September 21, 2012

{Candy Corn Week} Candy Corn Meringues, printable, and round up!

     Today we're wrapping up candy corn week! In case your just stopping in...this week I've been sharing all kinds of candy corn inspired treats. We started with candy corn Oreo pops, then candy corn shaped cupcakes, candy corn bark, candy corn fudge , and now candy corn meringues. Of course I saved the very best for last. I pretty much love these candy corn meringues...honestly they may be one of my favorite things I ever made. Not only are they easy, they are inexpensive, serve a lot, and so incredibly stinking cute! Don't worry if you aren't a fan of candy corns, these have a soft vanilla taste and they are light and airy.

Can you believe I use to be afraid of meringue cookies? I mean seriously what kind of baker couldn't love these. Ever since I made the cotton candy meringues I have been wanting to try lots of different looks and tastes, and I couldn't resist layering yellow, orange, and white to make these guys. They are always a hit with the adults and the go ahead and whip some up to share some friends. Or just hide them and sneak them when you need a little sugar...the kids will never know since chewing isn't mandatory ;) It's ok...I won't tell. I should probably warn you though, they do have to bake for quiet a long time so you'll have to be patient..but they are worth the wait.

 Sorry to keep your waiting...
Here's what your going to need:

4 Egg whites
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
Orange gel coloring
Yellow coloring
Parchment paper
Pipping Bag
Large round tip

Makes about 75 cookies.
Preheat oven to 150-170 degrees.

Step 1: In the bowl of a mixer separate egg yolks from egg whites. Let the eggs come to room temp.

Incase your wondering...this is one of my new favorite kitchen gadgets! I had heard of egg white separators before but I never bothered to get one...I thought I pretty much had it down. Until recently when my mom sent me this one from pampered chef (thanks mom!). I love it! It has an awesome little place to hang it on my bowl. It perfectly separates the eggs leaving only the yolk. Can't believe I use to do this by hand.

 Step 2: Beat eggs until white and foamy. Mix in 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp cream of tarter until soft peaks form.

Step 3: Set timer for 7 minutes. Slowly add in sugar a bit at a time taking the entire 7 minutes to do so.

Step 4: Divide into three bowl. To make the most meringues put a little more in the orange bowl, and the most in the yellow bowl because you will use the most of these colors. (I just kind of eyeballed it!)

Step 5: Add orange to your middle bowl and yellow to the bowl with the most meringue.

Step 6: Fill piping bags with meringue using a large round tip (I used Wilton #2A).  If you only have one tip or one bag just start with yellow and wash in between of course.

I finally remembered to try out my icing holder I received from Duncan Hines...although it's not a must buy it was pretty handy!

 Step 6: On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet pipe yellow dots of meringue about an inch across. Holding the icing bag vertical. Just press gently until you get a nice shape release pressure then pull up. I have found that these cook best when they are no bigger then and inch wide and an inch tall.

Step 7: Layer an orange dot on top slightly smaller, remember to keep the icing bag vertical it will help loads!

Step 8: Layer a smaller white dot on top. Pull up as you release pressure to get a nice little tip.

If you have extra white...feel free to swirl a few ghosts! The eyes and mouth are two sizes of sprinkles applied with my food tweezers.

Step 9: Now bake at a very low heat (about 150-170) for about two hours to two and a half hours until they are nice and crisp. I just checked on mine every so often to make sure they haven't started to brown. Every oven is different. I have found in the past that a low temp for a much longer time is far better then a higher temp with a risk of browning. 

Were you wondering where the little ghosts went? Don't worry they made it..there just hanging out with the candy corn waiting for me to use them..pretty cute right?

Of course all good parties have a nice favor to take with...and I don't intend on being a bad host. So today you'll be leaving the yellow, orange, and white fiesta with some printables! You can use these to package up whatever candy corn treats you decide to whip up! I keep them pretty simple so they can be used for all different kind of things. You can always add your own sweet message on the back.

I really hope you've enjoyed candy corn week as much as I! But wait I have are some of my favorite candy corn treats from some pretty awesome bakers, please stop by and check out their candy corn goodies.

I hope I have left you inspired to try out some of these treats or try out some of your own! 

Happy baking!