Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween :: Lumberjacks

**I know it's been quiet around here lately. I needed a little blogging break and then I was doing a lot of baking for some parties and a few work projects. Hope to be feeling like life is a little less hectic.**

Last year I saw a cute little lumberjack and thought we have to do that for Halloween next year. I love, love beards on the boys and knew with a little planning ahead it could be very easy. So over the last year I kept my eyes out for red & black plaid shirts while out thrifting and found shirts for all of us. The red hats were bought at the Dollar Store. I originally was going to do face makeup beards for all the boys, but Lincoln needed a beard that could come on & off to take to school today, so my mom knit this one up real quick and I sewed it to his hat. {Thanks mama-love!} I forgot about looking for suspenders until last minute, so I did have to buy some new ones for Lincoln & Malacai. {We had one pair already that Levi wore}. Mike made the axes from insulation board and then painted them. Jeans & shoes were ones we had. Easy-peasy and pretty cheap. Also - so loved having the family dress up together. I want to do it every year! {I'm sure Mike will be all about that}

Malacai looks amazing with a beard - I'm not sure what it is - but I just absolutely love it! {Our friend told us he looks like he was born with a beard - haa!} And little Levi in those last two pictures - ahh - I could just eat him up he's so cute! He was mesmerized by the flashing timer light on the camera.

Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

These are the perfect cookie for fall. I am not a huge pumpkin fan - but I desperately want to be. It's just so fall-ish. And it smells wonderful while baking. I'm starting to like it more...I still won't choose a piece of plain old pumpkin pie for my dessert, but pumpkin mixed in with something else? Sure. And pumpkin with maple cream cheese filling - definitely!
This is the only photo I managed to snap of these - I was making them to take to my aunt's annual fall party on Monday and was in a hurry. {And didn't come home with any - that's how good they are!}

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

Yield: About 2 dozen assembled whoopie pies {will vary depending on how large you make them}

For the Whoopie Pies:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup canola or vegetable oil
1½ cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Maple-Cream Cheese Filling:
2½ cups powdered sugar
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.

5. Use a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

7. To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

8. To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.

Source: barely adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Ten On Ten :: October

One photo. Every hour. For ten hours. On the 10th. Linking up with Rebekah's Ten on Ten.

The start to my morning.

Having breakfast with my sweet lil' babes.


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.

At Aunt Jan's for Hempelfest....a celebration for autumn and Germans!

Winter warmth.

A walk on this glorious fall day!

My cousin makes some amazing soup.

Love the tiny converse. And the tiny boy who couldn't keep his feet still.

A pumpkin waiting to be picked.

Join in:
ten on ten button small

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