Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie

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Well since it’s almost Halloween and Fall will be over before we know it….I try to squeeze in as many pumpkin recipes as possible because I love pumpkin, duh. This mousse pie can be enjoyed frozen or it can be enjoyed defrosted with a creamy and fluffy texture. The sweet and crispy gingersnap crust and pumpkin mousse is delectable. This is a lighter version of pumpkin pie with nearly 200 calories per serving…not too bad for a delicious fall dessert if you ask me!

Ingredients:
8 ounces gingersnap cookies
2 tablespoons butter; melted
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup low-fat whipped cream
1 quart low-fat vanilla yogurt
Topping:
Whipped cream (I used low-fat)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the gingersnaps, butter, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to form fine crumbs. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until the crust is set and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
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2. In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 cup whipped cream, and remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar until blended; stir in the yogurt. Spread into the cooled pie crust and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic to freeze up to 1 week.

3. When ready to serve, transfer the pie to the refrigerator to soften slightly, about 30 minutes. Top with whipped cream (optional)…and waaaalah! Enjoy!
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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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You can’t beat a warm slightly soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie…I came across this amazing recipe by a fellow food blogger that I follow. This recipe really hits the spot when you are craving the perfect cookie!

Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspooon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 cups chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Steps:
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the butter is a golden brown..about 3-5 minutes. The butter will start to bubble and foam and then subside as the water evaporates and the milk solids start to turn a light brown color. Just as it starts to turn light brown, remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. Place the egg, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture is pale yellow and starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

3. Once the browned butter has cooled for 15 minutes, whisk the brown sugar into it. Add the butter mixture to the egg mixture in the bowl of the electric mixer. Whisk on medium speed for about a minute.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in the mixer and mix on low speed until just barely combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low speed until dough comes together and chocolate is mixed throughout.

6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 2 tablespoon-sized portions of dough about an inch apart on the lined baking sheets. Lightly press down on the top of each one with the palm of your hand. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

7. Position baking rack on the very top shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove one cookie sheet from the refrigerator and bake on the top rack for 15-18 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes. Cookies should be crisp around the edges with some craggle and visible chew on top. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the other cookie sheet from the refrigerator and bake the same way.

*You can skip the refrigeration step and the cookies will still taste great, but the refrigeration enhances the flavor and texture of the cookie so if you have the time, I would recommend it!

Recipe adopted from: The Baker Mama

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The Ultimate Cupcake Guide

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Cupcakes are getting trendier and trendier by the minute I feel like! It’s no surprise to me how many cupcake bakeries there are these days and they are even becoming popular on reality TV shows; such as “Cupcake Wars on Food Network. Often times, the quickest way to get ahold of cupcakes when you need them is at our grocery store bakery because we don’t want to make our own. Their cute size makes them so convenient to eat as well..so, what’s not to love in a cupcake? This chart is so handy because it gives an idea on how to create your own perfected cupcake. Use this recipe below for a perfect basic yellow cupcake mix. Chocolate, vanilla, buttercream, strawberry, and just about any-other frosting you love would be delicious with this recipe…I think it would be almost be impossible in my opinion for any frosting not to taste amazing with this. 🙂

Control Recipe: Basic Yellow Cupcakes
Yield: 12

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (6.35 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour and milk alternatively, starting and ending with the flour, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for one minute. Divide the batter between the cupcake cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adopted from: Relish

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

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Since it’s been raining so much lately, I thought it would be acceptable to make homemade donuts..except they are baked so I guess you can say they are guilt-free?! These took me 10 minutes to make so you don’t have to worry about it being too difficult as you would usually think when making ‘homemade donuts’. Plus, there is nothing better than the smell of donuts baking in the morning.

Yield: 1 dozen

Ingredients:
1 egg
1/3 cup butter; melted
1/2 cup Vanilla creamer
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
For topping
1/4 cup butter; melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat egg and creamer until combined. Add flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir until dough is formed and make sure to not over-mix!

2. Melt butter and brush on bottom of cupcake pan (a totally of 12).  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on bottom and with two spoons scoop into cupcake tins. Brush tops with more butter and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
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Rice Krispy Treats dipped in white chocolate

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I made these treats when I when I went to go visit my girlfriends in my college town, Fresno a few weeks ago. Every time I make a trip I love bringing my friends a tasty treat to get us through our fun filled weekend! These simple rice krispy treats have a festive Valentine’s Day twist! You can always alternate the M&M colors for any season! Plus, I dipped the bottom of them in white chocolate so they make the perfect holiday treat. These are so easy to make, kids can even do it too!

Yield: 12

Ingredients:
6 cups rice krispy cereal
2 Tbsp butter
1 16 oz bag of mini marshmallows
1 cup of M&M’s
1 cup white chocolate ‘candy melts’
Sprinkles (optional)

Steps:
1. In a microwavable safe bowl, microwave marshmallows and butter for 1 1/2 minutes.

2. Measure cereal and M&M’s and put in a large bowl. Once marshmallows are melted, add to large bowl and mix with a spatula until cereal and M&M’s are completely coated with marshmallows.imageimage

4. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch pan and pour rice krispy mix. Top with sprinkles and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

5. Once rice krispy treats are cool, cut into 12 squares. In a medium bow, melt white chocolate ‘candy melts’ and dip one side of rice krispy treats. With a butter knife, scrape off access chocolate. Place dipped treats onto a cooling rack. Top with more candy or sprinkles, its completely up to you and let cool.