Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


Posted by Chef Penny | Posted in , , | Posted on 2:08 PM

Whoopie Pies are a traditionally "cookie" made in amish country. I first had them when I worked in pennsylvania a few years ago. Then I lived with someone in france who was from canada and made them often. I decided to find a pumpkin recipe. I love these!!!! They are light and cakey and everyone will find their new favorite food after eating these. And my neighbors/landlord loved them too! heehee

Pumpkin Cakes:

3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups (410 grams) light brown sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 - 15 ounce (425 grams) can pumpkin puree

Maple Filling:

1/4 cup (55 grams) crisco

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) (55 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup

For Pumpkin Cakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt. Put aside.

Using an electric mixer (preferably using a paddle), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Drop heaping tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. With with the back of a spoon dipped in water, smooth the tops of the cakes and flatten a bit.

Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies, when lightly pressed, spring back. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely


Beat the crisco and butter until soft and creamy. With the mixer on its lowest speed, gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar. Increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then, with the mixer on low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and slowly drizzle in the maple syrup. Beat until a bit thicker.

To Assemble:

Take one cake and spread a tablespoon of the filling on the flat side of the cake. Top with another cake. The assembled cookies can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Sorry I didn't take pictures again. I have been so busy....at least im baking :)

Southern Deviled Eggs


Posted by Chef Penny | Posted in , | Posted on 2:02 PM

Went to a party over the weekend and my friend Jaimee's favorite food is deviled eggs. This is my classic recipe that I tweak if I need to! I basically make the eggs and then add ingredients to taste. ALWAYS taste your food before serving! Enjoy

9 large eggs (or however many you chose, just change the amounts)
1/3 cup mayo
1 1/2 T dijon mustard
2 tsp apple cider
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp scallions minced (white part only- and I usually add more)
2 tsp fresh tarragon minced (plus extra for garnish)
paprika to taste

boil the eggs. do it the way YOU were taught. I was taught so many ways, that I make them different every time. All I can say is the same always is to chill quickly by running cold water on them and putting ice on top. chill as cool as possible to stop cooking and to peel immediately.

cut eggs in half lengthwise. Put yolks in a bowl and mash. Add mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt pepper and paprika (can use as a garnish only if you want). Make as smooth or as chunky as you want. Spoon into a piping bag or a ziploc bag and cut the top. Pipe into eggs. Garnish with tarragon and paprika. cover til you are ready to serve!

sorry i didn't take pictures! I was running late and forget :) Picture a creamy egg! hahah. enjoy

2nd edition of Trifle


Posted by Chef Penny | Posted in , | Posted on 1:27 PM

Here is the rest of the trifle recipe and pictures!

Mascarpone Whipped Cream
2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1- 8 ounce container mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Using an electric mixer, beat cream til soft peaks. Slowly add sugar until stiffer peaks. Finally add the vanilla and mascarpone and whisk til stiff peaks :)

Pumpkin Mousse
1 (1/4 oz) envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small saucepan and let soften one minute. Bring this mixture to a simmer and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Whisk together the gelatin, pumkin, brown sugar, spices and salt until combined.

Beat cream and vanilla until stiff peaks. Fold into pumpkin mixture (fold= to lightly mix in with a spatula)

*may need to be refrigerated until cool- then re-whisk.

(do it YOUR way- this was mine)

starting on the bottom layer- gingerbread (chunks of one inch cubes to fill the entire bottom), spread on pumpkin mousse, sprinkle on chopped praline, spread on mascarpone cream. Repeat making sure to end with cream and sprinkle with praline. ENJOY!

OMG! sorry


Posted by Chef Penny | Posted in , , | Posted on 5:50 PM

So yes...i have been MIA! I am sooooo sorry. I have no excuse except I got this part time gig in Waukegan. So between moving, staying at my parents (the commute is so short!!!), and going to florida for a week, i am FINALLY situated in my new place! Pics will come soon. For now...I am making a pumpkin trifle which will be finished on Saturday. (baking a bunch this wknd) So for today I will leave you with the two recipes I made today to BEGIN the trifle. I hope you enjoy! I bought 3 cans of pumpkin...so pumpkin recipes here i come ;)

Pecan Praline:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup half and half
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz pecans (12/3 cups- WHAT?!)

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. In a heavy saucepan on medium high heat, boil both sugars and half and half. Whisk constantly. When the sugar dissolves reduce the heat to low and simmer, while whisking, for about 5 minutes. Add butter, vanilla, and salt. Let the mixture simmer (with a candy thermometer preferably) until it reaches 260* F- about 8-10 min. Remove from the heat and mix in the pecans. Pour onto the prepared pan. Cool completely.

Gingerbread Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses (NOT robust or blackstrap)
3/4 cup well shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350* with rack in the middle. Butter a 13x9 inch pan. Line with foil (edges hanging over) and butter foil.

Whisk together flour, soda, spices and salt.

Beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg until blended and then beat in molasses ad buttermilk. At low speed at the flour until smooth. Add the hot water and beat for about a minute. The mixture MAY look curdled or separated. This is ok.

Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake until toothpick comes out clean (30-40 min).