Thursday, October 22, 2015

Perfect Fall Treat !!! Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts!

Need a quick & delicious dessert for your upcoming Fall parties? Well, these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse tarts are perfect! There is very little baking involved and they can be made the day ahead!  
I was attending the annual birthday party for my boyfriend and his friends, and I needed a quick and tasty dessert recipe. I used the base of my usual party favorite (Cheesecake Cups)and added pumpkin and a few other fall flavors and boom....... these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse tarts were born!
 As usual, after testing a recipe, I posted a picture on Instagram saying the recipe would be coming soon. Then I planned a second round of recipe testing before sharing the recipe with you all on the blog.
For the second round of testing, just to make sure the recipe was absolutely perfect,  I baked the tarts for a double celebration - happy hour to congratulate a co-worker who had recently been promoted  (Congrats Brie!) and a friend's birthday (Happy Birthday Amber!).  I followed the same basic recipe as the first test round, but made a few changes which elevated the tarts to the next level and made them blog worthy!
The flavors are the essence of the holidays all rolled into one; pumpkin, cinnamon, crisp-buttery crust and light & fluffy cheesecake. Honestly what could be more perfect? The birthday girl said she needed of bathtub full of the stuff and another co-worker called them PUMPKINLICIOUS!.   
I hope you give this sweet treat a try for your holiday parties!
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts
Makes 24-36 minis (or 12-16 regular size)

1 box premade pie crust (if you want to make homemade, here is the link)
1 1/3 cups heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup powder sugar
8oz cream cheese, soften
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
3/4 cup Solid Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 350
Lightly spray the back side of a mini cupcake pan lightly with cooking spray.

Roll pie crust out on a floured surface. Use rolling pin to straighten edges but do not over roll.  Cut into 2 1/2" circles.  Place circles on a flipped over mini pie tray.  Make two indention's into each cup

Bake for 11-13 minute till light brown.. Remove from oven and place on cooling tray. They should slide right off.

As crust is cooling, whip cream until it forms soft peals (approx 2-3 minutes)

Add 1/4 cup of  powdered sugar. Mix until peaks are stiff.  Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

Place the cream cheese, vanilla and maple extracts in the same bowl (no need to clean out) that was used to whip the cream and mix until creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.

Filling will be nice and smooth. (I know you'll want to eat with a spoon right there and then!)

Fold in Whipped cream.

Add mixture to piping bag and fill each of the individual tarts.

Refrigerate for 1 hour.


Fun stuff!
1. I took the leftover pie crust and made little cookie hearts. Just cut pie dough into shapes, brush with butter and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon. bake at 350f or 10 minutes

2. You will have some leftover mousse. I just made little mousse cups. Just as good without the calories of the crust :-)!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Latte Boo-scotti for The Leftovers Club

Do you ever feel like somebody's watching you? It just might be my White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Latte Boo-scotti! Cute name for some adorable cookies, right?

The theme for this month's Leftovers Club was Halloween (duh!) which is always fun because you get to be playful with food. For my partner, Kathia, from Basic n Delicious, I wanted to embrace the spirit of Halloween but still make an "adult" treat that wasn't overly sweet or contrived. I knew right away that Biscotti would be perfect, plus I secretly  wanted an excuse to be able to use the word "boo-scotti" haha!
I hope Kathia enjoys my Boo-scotti as much as I enjoyed making them!
If you would like to join in on all of the fun, why not sign up to join the Leftovers Club over at Food Ramblings?

White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Latte Booscotti
Makes about 20 cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temp
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white chocolate chips
Small edible eyeballs for decoration
Preheat oven to 350

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

Place the butter, sugar, spices, baking powder and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream at medium speed until smooth and creamy (approx. 2 minutes).

Add the egg and pumpkin puree and mix at medium speed until combined.

Add the flour and mix on low speed just until combined.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and divide in half.

Shape each half of dough into a log approx. 10" long by 2" wide by 1/2" tall. You might need to wet your hands slightly or spray your hands with nonstick spray as the dough is a bit wet.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 325.

Place the cookie logs on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut each log diagonally into 10-12 slices (for a total of 20-24 cookies).

Stand the sliced cookies back onto the cookie sheet with the bottom of the cookie facing down.

Return to the oven (which should now be set at 325) and bake for an additional 25 minutes. The cookies should be golden and crispy but the interior should still be just a little soft. Turn the oven off and crack open the door. Allow the cookies to cool in the oven until they are completely cool.

Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack.

Melt the white chocolate chips in a metal bowl over a pot of barely simmering water stirring often. White chocolate needs to be melted low and slow otherwise it will seize up and become grainy.

When the white chocolate is melted, transfer to a small, deep bowl (like a deep ramekin).

Dip each biscotti into the chocolate, turning it if needed then place on parchment or wax paper. Add the eyes and allow to dry.

Biscotti usually last for several days.