Friday, October 30, 2009

Bakarella is my hero...

I can only aspire to be the sweet-treat-diva that she is. If you are not a follower of her blog, I highly suggest it. I read it every week and while I'll never be able to make over half her creations, they're inspiring works of eye candy that belong in a bakers museum. Check it out at

For our ward Halloween party last night I attempted to recreate her mini-pumpkin bites. They were so fun and cute, especially with little jack-o-lantern faces. Drizzled in chocolate they would also be perfect for Thanksgiving. She even used pre-made pie crust, which would make these even easier. For her recipe, click here.

*As a note, I didn't use a pumpkin cookie cutter. I used a round cookie cutter about 3 1/4" in diameter and formed my own stems as I formed the dough into the mini-muffin tins. I also used my own recipe for pie crust. But a pre-made pie crust would work just fine.

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I thought I'd include my favorite recipe for pumpkin pie and pie crust.

The pie crust recipe I received years ago from a professional baker. She owned a couple bakeries downtown and was nice enough to share her secret recipe with me. She told me I could pass it along, but I couldn't tell where it came from.

The pie recipe I developed a few years ago by combining a couple favorite pie recipes with a pumpkin cream cheese recipe. It was quite the experiment in the beginning, but very quickly became a family favorite.


4 C. flour
2 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1 ½ C. shortening
1 egg
1 T. vinegar

1. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt and sugar. Mix well.
2. Add the shortening and cut into the flour until the consistency of small peas.
3. In a 1 cup measuring cup, slightly beat the egg and vinegar together. Fill the remainder of the cup with very cold water. Mix together.
4. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until moist and dough forms.
5. Yields 4-6 pie crusts depending on how thick you like your crusts.

(Mindi Original)

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2 C. canned pumpkin
1 C. sugar
¼ t. salt
1 egg, plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 C. half & half
¼ C. (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 t. vanilla
1 t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. ground ginger
¼ t. nutmeg
¼ t. cloves
¼ t. all spice
(If it’s easier for you, you can substitute all the spices for 2 t. of pumpkin pie spice.)

1 prepared pie crust, uncooked

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin together until creamy.
2. Add the sugar and salt; beat until combined.
3. Add the egg, mixed with the yolks, half & half, and melted butter; beat until combined.
4. Add the vanilla, and all the spices; beat until combined.
5. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes*, or until the center is set.**
6. Place the pie on a wire rack and allow to cool at room temperature for about an hour.
7. Place in the refrigerator and all to set for 4-6 hours.
8. Serve with whipped cream.

*Do to the long cooking time; it may be necessary to cover the edges of the crust with foil or a pie crust protector about ½ or ¾ way through the baking process.

**Because this is a combination of pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake, it may seem like the center is still slightly jingly when you take it out. That’s ok, as it sits in the refrigerator it will continue to set up.

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