Monday, September 16, 2013

Cinnamon Spiced Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cinnamon Mascarpone Filling

There's something about this time of year that makes me long for warm, cozy, down home foods and pumpkin to me is one of these foods.
Cinnamon Spiced Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cinnamon Mascarpone Filling by Fact Woman and Buttercream Lane Blogs
I was feeling like some fall food so jumped onto Pinterest and found lots of delicious pumpkin recipes. When I saw a couple of recipes for pumpkin whoopie pies, I knew I found what i wanted to make/eat!  The problem I ran into was the recipes either used vegetable oil or a cake mix or both and I didn't want to go there. If I'm going to eat fat, it's going to be butter. Butter just tastes better and makes anything it's in or on taste better too and if I'm going to bake, I want to do it from scratch. It only takes about 5 minutes longer to measure some ingredients and the final result just tastes so much better..

After reading through different recipes for pumpkin whoopies, I found a few that sounded kind of good, but not quite right. I combined the best of those recipes with a recipe I have for a soft molasses cookies and the Libby Pumpkin Pie recipe and came up with this one. It's a perfect spiced pumpkin cake like cookie with a creamy, buttery, slightly maple flavored filling. I served it to company, family company so they'd be honest, and they were a hit. I hope you enjoy them as much as we all did.

Pumpkin Spiced Whoopie Pies with Maple Mascarpone Filling from Fact Woman

Spiced Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cinnamon Mascarpone Filling
Click here for a Printable version of this recipe.

Whoopie Pies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 TBS cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves

1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 TBS of molasses
1-15oz can of Libby's Pumpkin chilled- I just throw the can in the fridge for a few hours.(this chills up the dough so you can scoop and bake right away. If you don't want to chill the pumpkin, then chill the finished dough for a couple of hours before scooping it to bake.
1 tsp vanilla

Maple Cinnamon Filling
4 cups powdered sugar
8 oz of mascarpone cheese room temperature
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick of butter softened
3 TBS of Maple Syrup or (¼ cup of Maple Sugar plus 3 TBS milk)

The Whoopie part:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients- flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, salt
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugars until combined and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine. Add pumpkin and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not over beat.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop batter onto the parchment lined sheets about 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes making sure that the cookies are cooked through. They will start to crack on the top- it’s part of their charm!  I used a toothpick inserted in to the center to make sure they were done.
  7. Slide parchment off of sheets and onto counter to cool.

Filling
  1. Beat the butter and marscapone cheese until fluffy and smooth- this will take  3-5 minutes. Add  the cinnamon and half the powdered sugar then the maple syrup (or the maple sugar and milk) and the vanilla. Beat until combined. Then continue adding the rest of the powdered sugar until it is thick enough to hold it's shape well.

Assembly
Match up the cookies into sets of 2 similar size and shape and turn one over.  Spoon or pipe the filling onto the upside down cookies covering the entire surface. I spoon all the filling into a quart size zip lock bag and cut one corner off , then all I have to do it squeeze it out to pipe it.
Place the other cookie on top of the filling and press down slightly to get the filling all the way out to the edge. Repeat for each whoopie pie. 

Storage 
Please store these in the refrigerator. You can store these for up to a week in the refrigerator. Take out and let sit at room temperature for about 15-20 mins before serving to soften up or just eat them cold.
Pumpkin Spiced Whoopie Pies with Maple Mascarpone Filling from Fact Woman and Buttercream Lane blogs

Friday, September 6, 2013

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Almond Coconut Milk and Fresh Peaches that's Gluten Free!

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Peaches that's Gluten Free from Buttercream Lane and Fact Woman
Panna Cotta is one of those desserts that sounds much harder to make than it is. Once I discovered how easy it was to make, I make it often. It really only takes about 4-5 minutes to whip together and then an hour or so to chill. I came up with this recipe when I wanted something a little different that I could make for a dessert but also eat for breakfast and not feel guilty! I used a combination of Nonfat Greek yogurt and almond coconut milk as the base. It turned out thick and rich and delicious and guilt free.

I feel so blessed to live in Colorado, especially during the summer peach season. This year, because of a late freeze, the peaches are harder to get than a good night's sleep but when you can get your hands on them, it's worth the effort. They're the kind of peaches that when you cut or bite into them, the juice just flows out and the perfumed scent fills the room. They are so sweet and so delicious! Just writing about them is making me want to go cut another one but I have to pace myself so I can extend this batch of them. I decided to chop some up to put into this batch and I was not disappointed. If you don't like peaches you can use almost any fruit except fresh pineapple or fresh papaya- their enzymes will prevent the mix from setting up. 


Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Peaches from Buttercream Lane and Fact Woman

You can make it in small jars like I did and just eat it out of the jar, or you can make it in small ramekins that you can un-mold onto a plate. You can also make it in a regular 8-9" round cake pan and un-mold that onto a large plate to serve. I just like eating it out of my cute Weck jars plus I didn't feel like un-molding anything!  If you want to un-mold it- Lightly grease the inside of your pans/ ramekins so that the panna cotta will come out easier. I also get a bowl of hot water and hold the mold in the water for a few seconds to loosen it before un-molding.

 Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta  Makes 5-6  medium servings


 Ingredients:

  • 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin 
  • 1 cup of Almond or Coconut or  The Blue Diamond Almond Coconut Milk. (you can use unsweetened or sweetened it doesn't matter. but if you use unsweetened, you might cut back on the agave or sugar) 
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup or honey or 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1- 17 oz container of Plain Greek Yogurt- nonfat, 1 %, whole milk- doesn't matter
  • 1 tsp vanilla- optional
  • 2 large or 3 medium peaches chopped- Optional You can also use strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or apricots. Any fruit but fresh Pineapple or papaya- they have enzymes in them that will prevent the gelatin from setting up so you'll end up with a yogurt and fruit drink! 

Instructions:



  1. Take a 1/4 cup of the almond milk  in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let sit 1-2 minutes while you get the rest of the ingredients together and chop up the peach. 
    1. Greek Yogurt Panne Cotta from Buttercream Lane and Fact Woman Blogs
  2. Add the yogurt  and 1/4 of the almond milk to a small bowl- (preferably one with a spout to pour out of) and whisk together until smooth. 
  3. Take 1/2 cup of the almond milk and the sweetener and place in a small saucepan 
  4. Over Medium heat, heat the milk and sweetener until mixed together and all dissolved. 
  5. Add the softened gelatin to the pan and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. You don't have to bring it to a boil. Heat just until everything is dissolved. 
  6. Remove from the heat and pour the warm mixture into the yogurt.
  7. Add the vanilla to  it if you wish. I think real vanilla tastes like plastic and the fake stuff is worse!
  8. Pour the mixture into your containers- filling 1/2 way. 
  9. If you are adding fruit, add the chopped fruit and push the fruit down into the yogurt mixture with a spoon. Then top with the remaining yogurt mixture  so that the fruit is covered. 
  10.  Greek Yogurt Panne Cotta from Buttercream Lane and Fact Woman Blogs Greek Yogurt Panne Cotta from Buttercream Lane and Fact Woman  Greek Yogurt Panne Cotta from Buttercream Lane and Fact Woman Blogs
  11. Chill for 1-3 hours depending on the shape of your container. a thinner layer will chill in an hour. A 5 oz jar will take closer to 3 hours. 
                               Greek Yogurt Panne Cotta from Buttercream Lane and Fact Woman
The panna cotta  will still jiggle a bit but not be  set up. Think a little less gigglier than jello. It's really a softer jello consistency. 

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Peaches from Buttercream Lane and Fact Woman


Friday, August 9, 2013

Fluffy No Bake Peanut Butter Pie with a Chocolate lined crust!

Fluffy No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Fluffy No Bake Peanut Butter Pie from fact Womand and Buttercream Lane




We love to go to a very small town cafe about a half an hour away for their pan fried chicken, cooked to order, and their homemade pies. 

The Castle Cafe always has a killer banana cream pie but every few months the chef will get in a mood to make a Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie that is one of the best things I've ever had and I'm not even a big peanut butter person. Note the "only every few months" part of that- it's not nearly often enough so, I had to play with some recipes to come up with one that tastes just like his!!! We all agree that this is a perfect copy!


One of the secrets to his great pies is his chocolate coated graham cracker crusts. He uses it for his Banana Cream Pie and his Peanut Butter Pie. Brilliant! The crust never get's soggy!!I hope you enjoy this pie as much as we do!



For a Printable Version of this recipe- Click Here! 

Ingredients

Pie Crust- Makes one 9" pie crust- You can also just buy one!!! 

  • 1 package from a box of graham crackers- about 10 sheets of crackers
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of melted butter
  • 3/4 of a cup of chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 1 1/2  8oz packages of low fat cream cheese at room temperature(12 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups of creamy peanut butter- store bought not the fresh kind. I like Jif
  • 3 TBS of water or milk
  • 1 1/2  cup of powdered sugar- divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips- Optional- you can mix some into the filling or you can just top the pie with some or both. 

Topping

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips- Optional
Peanut Butter Pie from Fact Woman & Buttercream Lane

Instructions 

Pie Crust

  1. Preheat your oven to 375º
  2. While the crackers are still wrapped, press of the sides, top and bottom to start to break them up. 
  3. Place the crackers into a food processor. You can also put everything into a large zip lock bag and crush and mix the ingredients in the bag. 
  4. Add the sugar
  5. Pulse until the crackers are a fine crumb
  6. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and pulse until all combined. 
  7. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9" pie plate. I use a measuring cup to press it in nice and tightly. 
  8. Bake for 7 minutes
  9. As soon as you take the crust out of the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bottom of the crust. 
  10. Let it sit for 5 minutes until the chocolate chips are melted. 
  11. With the back of a spoon, spread the melted chocolate over the bottom and up the sides of the crust. 
  12. Place in the refrigerator until cool 

Peanut Butter Filling

  1. In a  mixing bowl, beat the whipped cream with 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar until it forms stiff peaks. That means when the beaters are pulled up out of the whipped cream, the points stand up straight. 
  2. In another mixing bowl, place your 12 oz of softened cream cheese, the 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter, 1 cup of powdered sugar and 3 TBS of water. Beat until well combined and slightly fluffy. 

  3. Take 1/3 of the whipped cream and stir it into the peanut butter mixture to lighten it. 
  4. Take the remaining whipped cream and fold it into the peanut butter mixture and fold until all combined. 
  5. Spoon the peanut butter filling into the chilled crust and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 

Topping:

  1. In a  mixing bowl, beat the whipped cream with 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar until it forms stiff peaks. That means when the beaters are pulled up out of the whipped cream, the points stand up straight. 
  2. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie and sprinkle on the  mini chocolate chips. 
  Note: You can beat all 2 cups of whipped cream and the 3/4 cup of powdered sugar together- just remember to pull out a quarter of it to top the pie with before mixing the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. It's up to you! I tend to forget the pull out the topping so I beat the cream in separate batches! 
Peanut Butter Pie from Fact Woman & Buttercream Lane

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Moist, Delicious Strawberry Shortcake- A super fast and easy vanilla cake to go with berries!

Strawberry Shortcake from Fact Woman & Buttercream Lane
 I'm not a fan of the dry, crumbly, biscuit style of shortcake. I want a moist tender cake for my berries. 16 years ago, we ordered the strawberry shortcake at a restaurant and I was in heaven. It was the perfect cake for berries. I had to have the recipe and with a bit of flattery and begging, the chef shared the recipe with me. The one catch was, he had to leave one ingredient out to give it to me. Thankfully, he made it easy when he told me that it was a vanilla cake and guess what ingredient was missing?
We always have this on Easter to usher in berry season and is one of our favorite spring & summer treats.  It's so fast and easy to mix up and bake. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Moist Vanilla Strawberry Shortcake

DSC_9473.jpg
Makes one 9x13 pan or 12 cupcakes or one jellyroll pan
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBS baking powder
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup or a microwavable container- microwave 1 cup of butter for 60 seconds or until melted. I leave the sticks in the wax paper and micriwave it that way. No spatters and you just have to pull them out when it's melted. Easy and no mess. 
  3. In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar and baking powder
  4. Stir in the milk and vanilla then the melted butter and mix well. There may be a few small lumps but just leave them. Don't over stir! 
  5. Pour batter into a greased pan and bake in the preheated oven until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean. 
  6. Baking Times: 
    1. For a 9x13 or cupcakes-  25 to 30 minutes  
    2. For jelly roll pan- or 20 mins f. 
    Strawberry Shortcake from Fact Woman & Buttercream Lane
For a large half sheet pan 2”x13”x18”- Double the recipe and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. 
DSC_9488.jpg

Monday, July 1, 2013

Easy Zen Tomato Tarts


Zen Tomato Tarts


In the summer tomatoes are so delicious. Juicy, sweet and filled with flavor.  I grabbed some at the farmer's market last week and wanted to use them up by making these Tomato Tarts. I made 3 tarts; one with goat cheese, one with parmesian and one with some white cheddar. The thing that makes these so special is the seasoning. This month our challenge from the   The Fennel Friday Cooking Club (hosted is by The Pollen Ranch and Kimberly, at The Hungry Goddess.)  was to make a vegetable dish using The Pollen Ranch's Zen-Sational Seasoning Blend as an ingredient. We all post our recipes to the Fennel Friday group to share our recipes.  Head on over to check out the other delicious thing we all came up with!
These take about 10 minutes to make (not including the thawing time for the puff pastry and are baked and ready to eat in 30 minutes.  

These are perfect with a salad for a lunch or a light dinner or sliced up into small pieces as an appetizer. You can make them up to 2 hours ahead of when you want to serve them. They are just as good at room temperature as they are warm. 


Ingredients
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry- thawed
  • 3 large tomatoes. I used Roma
  • 1 tsp of Zen-Sational Seasoning blend
  • 2 tbs basil chopped of chiffonaded ( fancy way of saying cut into thin little strips) I use scissors!
  • 1/2 cup of the cheese or cheeses of your choice. 
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425º
  2. Unroll the puff pastry sheet and cut into 3 strips
  3. Place the strips onto a parchment lined or greased cookie sheet
  4. With a sharp knife, cut just into the top part of the puff pastry all the way around leaving about 1/3 of an inch between the score line and the edges

  5. Tomato Tart from fact woman & buttercream lane Zen Tomato Tarts From Fact Woman & Buttercream Lane
  6. With a fork, prick holes all over the center of sheet staying inside the score lines- this keeps the center part from puffing up while allowing the edges to rise up
  7. Brush the center with some olive oil
  8. Slice the tomatoes up into thin slices and chop up the basil
  9. Arrange the basil pieces evenly over the pastry

  10. Zen Tomato Tarts From Fact Woman & Buttercream Lane Zen Tomato Tarts From Fact Woman & Buttercream Lane
  11. Sprinkle each strip evenly with 1/3-1/2 tsp of Zen-Sational Seasoning
  12. Arrange the tomatoes in a line down the middle
  13. Top the tomatoes with 2-3 TBS of the cheese of your choice.
  14. Place them into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Serve these warm or at room temperature.  
    Zen Tomato Tarts From Fact Woman & Buttercream Lane





















The Zen-Sational blend is made up of Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen, Sumac, Sesame Seeds, Orange Peel, Ginger, Fleur de Sel (Sea Salt), Yellow Curry, Savory Leaf,  and Cayenne. It is not hot but adds a lovely earthy warmth to the tomatoes!  It's a perfect blend!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

10 Minute Summer Pasta for a Fast and Easy Dinner

In the summer I don't really feel like cooking.  I just want a fast and easy dinner recipe that's healthy and not too heavy. This dish fits the bill. It takes only 10 minutes to prepare - 20 if you count waiting for the water to boil. It's filled with colorful tomatoes, basil, arugula, spinach, garlic and feta and only gets one pot dirty.  Enjoy this delicious dish warm for dinner tonight and chilled for lunch tomorrow.
10 Minute Summer Pasta for a Fast and Easy Dinner
Ingredients

  • 1 pound of campanella, penne or any shape pasta you'd like. 
  • 6 large roma tomatoes or 4 large regular tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic crushed and minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil leaves or 1 TBS of  Gourmet Garden Basil.
  • 2 cups of super greens or spinach and or arugula
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1- 1 1/2 tsp of salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of oregano or italian herb blend


  • 1 TBS kosher salt for the pasta water

    1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a full  boil with 1 TBS kosher salt or 1 1/2 tsp regular salt in the water
    2. Add Pasta to the water and cook for the recommended time until al dente 
    3. While the pasta cooks- Cut up the tomatoes into bite size pieces and place into a large serving bowl. Leave room to toss it all together- unlike the one in my picture!
    4. Add the chopped basil and the greens to the bowl
    5. Add the feta to the bowl
    6. 10 Minute Summer Pasta- Fast and Easy 
    7. In another small bowl - or you can just dump it on top of the pasta. 
    8. Mix the olive oil, minced garlic, 1 tsp salt, pepper and herbs together. 
    9. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add it to the bowl right on top of the tomatoes, greens and feta.

    10. 10 Minute Summer Pasta Fast and Easy
    11. Pour the oil blend on top and toss to combine. 
    12. Serve with some warm bread and you're already done! 
    02a72b38-3d26-4fd7-a6be-c48326ac8b40

    Monday, June 24, 2013

    Do you know your family health history? Time to have everyone fill out a Family Heath History Questionnaire

    The last few months I have found out some things in my family medical history that I had no idea were there. We have a large family reunion coming up and I think it's time to start gathering some health history information that could affect my family and their families.  There is so much health information that can disappear  when a family member dies and it's then lost forever. It would be nice, when a health issue pops up, to have some data available to show if it's something that is common in the family or something new.

       photo from freedigitalphotos.net

    There were 2 major things that caused me to think about this. One was a family member that had some issues nursing her baby. She just wasn't producing enough milk. In mentioning it to an older family member, I found out that this older woman had also had issues nursing her kids and so had her mom. None of them produced more than an ounce or two of milk at a feeding and had to supplement with bottles of formula. I never know that!!!  Had this young mom known this information, it could have prevented 2 very frustrating months with a very fussy and, now we know, hungry baby. He was gaining weight and growing but just not getting quite enough as he got older.

    I also started thinking about it because of the last, very difficult, couple of weeks.  We watched and prayed for a young couple, my daughter's husband's twin brother and his wife  who had a beautiful baby boy who was born with a very rare, fatal lung condition, alveolar capillary dysplasia.  He was fine for the first 36 hours and then started having breathing problems, after 2 weeks  of intensive tests and treatment, he was diagnosed with ACD and he passed away. It's such a sad a tragic situation. Please keep his parents John and McCayla in your prayers.
    ACD is almost always a spontaneous non-hereditary issue but the fact that it happend should be passed down to future generations so that they will know. So often, information just isn't shared and you never know when it could be important or could make a difference!

    I spent a couple of hours creating a family health history form that covers a broad spectrum of health issues. Take the time to fill one out and to have each of your family members fill it out. Collect the information and see what trends there may be in your family tree that you had no idea were there!