Super Un-Official Hiatus is Now Over + Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Hey there cyber world, look who is back in action!!!!!!! So I know that I probably have a lot of explaining to do but fear not, all your questions will be answered in a nice, orderly fashion.

  • Where the hell have you been? I’ve been in Brighton, a part of Boston, transitioning from being a lazy college graduate to an over-stressed grad student. Turns out this transition has been a bit trickier than anticipated. I went from having tons of free time to having barely any. Blogging takes some time, not a lot or anything, but it takes some. Between classes, homework, my internship, nannying, and just getting by, its been hard to find some time time. Basically, what I need to start doing is setting aside some time once a week for blogging.
  • Have you been baking? um, this week I did. Basically, this excuse applies to the first one. Time is a big part of baking and finding a good two hours or so to just focus on baking has been tricky but hey, I’m trying to make it work. Especially now that I have some extra money from job. Believe it or not, but I can actually afford to buy ingredients again! YAY! I might not be able to bake or cook something once a week, but I’m gonna aim for once every two weeks.
  • How are classes? Why thank you for asking. Classes have been good. Been learning a lot about the world of library and information professionals such as cataloging, metadata, library history, and the ins and outs of archiving. For the most part, things have been easy, but the assignments for my information organization class (cataloging etc) have been mega time killers. Thank god my classmates are super nice and are open to working together on assignments. You know the saying, strength in numbers.
  • How is Boston? fantastic! I love living here; there is always stuff to do which is a big change when compared to last city I lived in *cough* worcester *cough*. For the first time, I’m not restricted by not having a car. In Boston, you can go almost anywhere with the T or by foot. And since I’m such a big fan of walking, I have really gotten the chance to do some urban exploring. This how I discovered that I live right near a giant reservoir, one that is perfect for runners. I’ve gone jogging there a few times and I really enjoy being around other runners again
  • What else is new? well, a group of friends from home and I have decided to start to book club that we call “The Throw back Book Club”. It’s all for fun but what’s cool is that we are reading books from our childhood. This month we’re reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Remember that one? So far its been great re-reading it, each chapter brings back memories of the first time I read it. What else???? I’m interning at a historical commission for the city of Cambridge which is turning out to be super cool. I basically get to handle old documents, photographs and other things as I sort through them to form a collection. Oh, and I went to Harpoon Brewery’s Octoberfest. That was freak’n awesome!
  • What about those whoopie pies? see recipe below.
Whoopie pie success!

Whoopie pie success!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Recipe adapted from created by The Baker Chick 

Ingredients for the cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • For the Filling
    • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

In another bowl, whisk sugars and oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and combine thoroughly Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly mix both mixtures until just combined.

With a small ice cream scoop, form a tablespoon of dough and place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and an inserted tooth pick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool and repeat with remaining dough

For the Filling With an electric mixture, beat the butter and cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and beat until smooth. If you want to a firmer filling, add more powdered sugar.

To assemble, either pipe or use a knife to spread the filling on the flat side of one of the cookies before topping it with another cookie. Press down slightly so the filling spread. Repeat until all cookies are completed. Refrigerate for about a half an hour before serving.

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Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge: Apples and Cinnamon + a Little Honey

Shana Tova everyone! Or in English, Happy New Year. Now I know what you are thinking ‘she’s lost her mind’ but trust me, I haven’t. You see, last week was the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashannah, or the Jewish new year. However we aren’t just wishing our peers a happy new year, we are wishing for a sweet new year. Why sweet? Well why not? Ok, I’ll admit, I don’t entirely know why we wish specifically for a sweet new year but hey, why spoil a good thing? And you want to know what’s a good thing? Dipping freshly cut apples into gooey, warm honey. Sure Jews don’t get to have the twelve days of Christmas but who needs that when you have apples and honey. Shana Tova indeed!

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Now normally I spend Rosh Hashannah at home or with friends but since I just moved to Boston, heading home wasn’t exactly an opinion for me. However I decided that even if I couldn’t enjoy the holiday with my friends or family, that didn’t mean I had to miss out on all the fun. So, I did what I do best. I baked. Combing the best of both worlds, I made a deliciously festive apple honey cake. But wait, it get’s better! Just as I was prepping for the baking process, Sheryl from Behind the Curtain Baking Challenge posted the flavor theme for the month of September. Apples and Cinnamon. How perfect was that? So behold dear readers, my apple cinnamon + honey cake. I also want to point out that this is the first thing I have baked in my new apartment.

Two sides notes:

1). I didn’t make the icing due to not having the ingredients/ not having it in my budget to pay for powder sugar. Now that I have a job (yay) I hopefully can buy powder sugar soon

2). Please pardon the pictures; without a window and limited lighting, the images have come out a bit dark.

 

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Apple Cinnamon + Honey Cake

Adapted from a recipe found here

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose baking flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (could also be 1 1/2 tsp depending on taste preference)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 3 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored, and shredded

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they are frothy. Whisk in the honey, white sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla. In a separate medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and spices. Incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid, stir to blend. Fold in the shredded apples.

Spray your 9 inch Bundt pan with cooking spray, making sure to evenly coat the entire inner surface. Pour your batter into the pan. Bundt pan depths vary, so make sure the batter fills the pan ¾ full or less. Do not fill beyond ¾ or your cake might overflow during baking. Use a spatula to gently push the batter to the outside of the pan, pushing slightly up the walls. This will help to get rid of any air pockets that might interfere with the pretty details of the pan. Smooth the batter on the top so it is flat and even all the way around the pan.

Bake cake in preheated oven for 75-90 minutes. When the edges darken and pull fully away from the sides of the pan, and the cake browns all the way across the surface, insert a toothpick deep into the thickest part of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. It’s a very moist cake, so it’s easy to undercook it– err on the side of caution and let it bake a little longer if you’re unsure (but don’t bake it too long or it will dry out!).

Let the cake cool for exactly 10 minutes, then invert it onto a flat plate. Tap the Bundt pan gently to release the cake. If your cake sticks, use a plastic knife to carefully loosen the cake around the center tube and sides. Allow cake to cool completely. Serves about 10

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