How fun are these? I make mini whoopie pies every Halloween.
Every year I try a different flavor for the filling: cinnamon, maple, eggnog, butterscotch, bourbon [Ed. Note: HELLO.] and this year, apple cider. This may be my favorite yet.
The secret ingredient to this filling is boiled apple cider. If you haven't heard of bottled boiled apple cider, don't worry, I didn't either until last year. It's a good product to have in your arsenal.
Ordered it online from King Arthur Flour www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/boiled-cider-1-pint and I've used it for muffins, cookies, cakes, pie, and it makes a great glaze for meats when mixed with whole grain mustard.
King Arthur Flour describes their boiled cider as "magically capturing the intense, robust flavor of just-picked apples, preserving it in liquid form." Couldn't agree more.
Kids love them, and adults do too (have passed them around on trays of finger foods and they were the hit of the night).
These little mounds of goodness hold well in the fridge for up to three days. Great for make-ahead parties.
Know there are many who despise the word "moist," but I will use it here, because the cookie part is, well, moist...and flavorful. All the autumn flavors packed into one tiny little mouthful of goodness: pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and apple cider.
Adapted from: Every Day with Rachel Ray (Whoopie Pies); Marbled, Swirled, and Layered by Irvin Lin (Apple Cider Cream Cheese Filling).
Number of servings: makes approximately 12-14 whoopie pies (with tablespoon scoop) and 20 whoopie pies (with teaspoon scoop).
Because I ain't no Challahback Girl, I ain't no Challahback Girl!
Sorry, couldn't get Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" out of my head while making this pumpkin challah. No Doubt fans will understand.
I don't make homemade bread too often, as there are many extraordinary bakeries around me that offer all manner of amazing confections. But it was so worth making this particular bread at home. The aroma alone was intoxicating, and I've never seen pumpkin challah at any bakery.
Disclaimer: my BF is a writer-music-journalist and is meticulous with grammar, so he hates when I use too many !!!!!! [Ed. note: I'm letting this slide, but will need to see you after class.] But people, I mean, look at this challah! Oh my beloved October!
Pumpkin and challah is a divine combination. The inside is a gorgeous saffron yellow, the crust is laquered, and the bread itself is soft and has an ever so slight taste of pumpkin. You can taste it, but it doesn't overwhelm.
There is, however, much down time, and you can do other things while the bread is rising and baking. When fully baked this loaf of bread is hefty, the BF and I feasted on this loaf of love for a week (we've made deli sandwiches, grilled cheese, french toast, bread pudding, croutons and eaten it plain, slicked with honey butter or cranberry butter—my favorite).
If you're invited to a dinner party or perhaps a holiday dinner, and the host asks you to bring the carbs, consider bringing this gem of a challah. Bet you're asked to bring it the following year.
Adapted from: The Bojon Gourmet, Smitten Kitchen and Joan Nathan
Number of servings: Makes 1 large loaf
According to Joan Nathan, the secrets to good challah are simple: use two coats of egg wash to get that laquer-like crust, and don't overbake it. Also, three risings always makes for the tastiest loaves.
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.