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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

thanksgiving eve

A little bit of a late post today. I've been busy tearing apart the kitchen and putting it back together. And from that I have a bunch of works in progress to share. The pile above contains some half done scarves. I need more of the green and blue yarn and I have to see where the rest of that mustard yellow takes me. I've just been blasting through those scarves, picking up a ball of yarn and a hook every time I sit. It's so mindless, I can just watch Elf and drink hot chocolate and suddenly, I'm at the end of a skein. :)

My first food related w.i.p. I started in the wee hours of the morning. I made up this sugar cookie dough to try something different this year. I figure if it's good enough for Sprinkle Bakes, It's good enough for me. The boyfriend and I will be baking and decorating them later tonight, after the dough is done chilling.

The dough is all packaged up and waiting patiently in the fridge..

Then I started making the gingersnap crust for this pumpkin cream pie I really wanted to try.

Those are some tough cookies to smash! I tried the usual method of cookie crushing and attempted to roll them out with a rolling pin but no dice. After rolling, pounding, pleading, and hammering. I crumpled into a pile of defeat. Then I remembered my Magic Bullet. I don't know if it is meant for things like cookies since I've only ever used it for smoothies but I broke them apart and gave em a quick spin and I had cookie crumbs in no time. I'm asking for a food processor for Christmas ;).

So that went in the oven and back out to cool. Then I started on the filling. I was so afraid to screw this up. My bad listening skills got me at one point and I poured in all the sugar in a part where you're supposed to split half into the pot and half into a bowl with egg yolks and corn starch. I had a mini panic attack and evaluated the amount of whole milk I had left and decided there wasn't enough to start over. Thankfully, these two mixtures get combined so I decided it would all be alright since the proper amount of sugar ended up in it, just in the wrong order. Baking is one of those things where you don't mess with the order and amounts of things. Cooking gives you a little more freedom with that.

I tasted the filling since I've never made this and am bringing it to a family dinner tomorrow just to make sure it wasn't a disaster. It was delicious. So good. I had to stop myself from eating it. Definitely make this. It is a nice change from your typical pumpkin pie but still satisfies your craving for all of those pumpkin-y flavors. And the milk and spice mixture smells fantastic while it's simmering. Amazing.

Here is the assembled pie on its way to the fridge to set. I'm going to make up the fresh whipped cream tomorrow before I leave so this isn't totally done yet. Check out the link above though if you want to see a complete one on shutterbean.

Both recipes are linked above but here they are again for convenience..

Sugar Cookies
recipe from Sprinkle Bakes

3 sticks of softened (but stilled slightly chilled, not room temp.) butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Either get your mixer with paddle attachment or best mixing spoon (I've been doing the latter since I was little so I didn't bother dragging out the mixer.) and cream butter and sugar until mixed well. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and slowly add a little at a time to wet mixture, mixing until all ingredients come together to form a stiff dough.
Chill over night.
Preheat oven to 400F. Divide dough in half when you start to use it and keep half in the fridge so it doesn't get to soft. Roll out dough 1/4-1/2 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut shapes with your favorite cutters and bake for 7-9 minutes.
When completely cook, decorate as you please.

Pumpkin Cream Pie
recipe from shutterbean

Gingersnap Crust..
1 1/2 cups ground gingersnaps (I needed about 23 cookies.. it depends on the size of yours.)
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp melted salted butter, slightly cooled

Pumpkin Cream Filling..
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 cup of sugar (divided)
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup solid-pack pumpkin puree
1 tbsp salted butter

*I didn't add the candied pecans but if you're interested in adding those, hop on over there to see how it's done.

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix crushed gingersnaps with sugar and butter. Spread the mixture into a 9in pie pan. Make sure to press them up the sides and over the lip of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool.
In a saucepan, bring milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt to a simmer over medium heat.
In a bowl, mix four egg yolks with 1/4 cup corn starch and 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly pour milk and spice mixture into the bowl with the eggs, whisking constantly. When that is all combined, pour back into saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. When it is bubbling in the center, remove from heat and stir in pumpkin and melted butter.
Push mixture through a sieve to remove (some) lumps. Pour filling into crust and spread with a spatula. Let pie set in the fridge for at least four hours. Top with freshly whipped cream. I'll be using the whipped cream recipe below because it supposedly keeps longs with sugar in it.

Fresh Whipped Cream..
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp fine sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whip cream until it becomes fluffy. Gently fold in sugar and vanilla and adjust sweetness to taste. Continue mixing until the cream forms soft peaks.

Whew. I hope everyone's cooking and preparing is going well. I'll be taking off tomorrow to spend time with family but I'll be back on Friday with decorated cookie results and maybe a finished pie shot if I remember!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

1 comment:

  1. I love the colors in those scarves, and your pie looks awesome!! Have a great Thanksgiving!


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