Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Pie Filled Kolacky

This traditional Czech/Polish pastry has acquired an American twist!  Kolacky (or Kolaches) are cookies traditionally filled with a variety of fruit, poppy-seed or cheese fillings.  My family serves them at most holiday dinners and they are the perfect bite-sized treat after any feast.  This time, I made them with a homemade pumpkin pie filling.

The baking season has really kicked in this week since I was invited to attend the Chicago Food Swap this weekend.  The Chicago Food Swap is an organization that meets monthly to swap homemade and homegrown food in the Chicago area.  No money changes hands and it is free to participate, plus it is a great way to form friendships and trade inspiration.  I am baking a few varieties of goodies in preparation for this event.  My baked goods will be stored and transported using Sweet Stackers.  Special for the November swap, I will get to showcase my Stackable Food Storage System and even raffle Sweet Stackers as a door prize.

These homemade Pumpkin Pie Kolacky are on my swap list and I will probably be making more for Thanksgiving dinner.

Pumpkin Kolacky

Click to get my PartyKitchen Kolacky Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Kolacky Filling

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

  • 2 tablespoon sugar

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 tablespoon egg, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon milk

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Place a teaspoon dollop of filling on kolacky dough.  Bake in 400° oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cookie storage container

Sweet Stackers – economical and versatile system to convert your containers to multi-level and maximize food storage.  The Stackable Food Storage System allows you to store and transport layers of baked goods in one container.  Available in 4 trays sizes made to fit major brand food storage containers.  Visit sweetstackers.com to learn more about this product.  Sweet Stackers are available to purchase on Etsy.

Cookie Stackable Food Storage

 

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

October is National Cookie Month!  Aside from baking this delicious recipe, we are also celebrating with a Sweet Stackers Facebook GIVEAWAY!  This is the perfect chance to try out a NEW way store and transport layers of baked goods in one container.  Sweet Stackers are designed to fit major brand containers and are versatile, reusable and economical!  Imagine storing your Christmas cookies and holiday desserts neatly.

Check out our video of storing these frosted Pumpkin Cookies using Sweet Stackers…

So visit the Sweet Stackers Facebook page to enter in this easy contest!  A winner will be picked on 10/16/2014.  Now back from the commercial break and onto this perfectly delicious cookie recipe to celebrate the fall season!  Who wouldn’t like the combination of spicy pumpkin and the lightly sweet cream cheese frosting?  It will be hard to only eat one!

SS Frosted Cookie Storage

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together at a high speed.  Add the egg, vanilla and pumpkin.  Turn the speed of mixing down and gradually add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Stir in the pecans.

Using a cookie scoop, drop a tablespoonful of dough 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

(note: after 10 minutes, I removed from the oven and gently pressed the cookies flat with a flat spatula, otherwise the cookies are puffed like a pillow.  Bake for an additional 2 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.)  Let cool completely.

For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.

Frost the cookies and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Sweet Stackers Layer Cookies

Sweet Stackers are a great way to store your baked goods in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from sticking together!

Spiked Cranberry Pecan Pie Tartlets

Mini desserts are neatly stacked, stored and ready to transport to my family Thanksgiving feast tomorrow using Sweet Stackers!

Thanksgiving dinner is a feast of many different dishes and is VERY filling.  It always feels like there is no room for dessert, but Thanksgiving desserts are just as traditional as the main course.  Pumpkin pie, pecan pie…must eat one, tiny, sliver of pie, right?

Tiny bite-sized desserts are perfect for a huge feast like this because they allow you to sample many different treats.  This recipe was inspired from a recipe on the “Created By Diane” blog, but I made the recipe even more bite-sized.  This recipe is very tasty and combines the sweet from the graham cracker crust and filling with the tartness of fresh cranberries.  Oh and don’t forget the hint of “a little something, something” (bourbon).

Aren’t they so dang cute and full of fall color?

Transport Mini Desserts to Thanksgiving

Spiked Cranberry Pecan Pie Tarlets

Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons of melted butter

Filling:

  • ½ flour
  • ½ cup bourbon (I used a honey bourbon)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Grease or lightly spray mini muffin tins (36 count total).

Mix the graham crackers, sugar and butter together.  Place a heaping tablespoon of crust mixture to fill each mini muffin cups.  Press firmly with your thumb for form a crust up the sides of each cup.

Toast the pecans for 3-5 minutes in a small fry pan over medium heat.  For the filling, mix the flour, bourbon and cinnamon.  Add the toasted pecans, cranberries and syrup and mix well to combine.  Spoon another heaping tablespoon full of filling into each crust.  Evenly filling with a good combination of nuts and cranberries.

Bake for 22-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool in the pan until the crust sets.

Mini muffin tin Pecan Pie

Yum!  They are not too sweet and not too tart – a perfect bite-sized treat after a filling Thanksgiving dinner!

Mini Cranberry Pecan Pie Tartlet

Hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Acorn Squash Ricotta Tart

Simply Savory are two words to describe this tart made with Acorn Squash, Caramelized Onions and Ricotta Cheese.

Winter Squash Tart

It is the season for winter squash and there are so many different ways to prepare them.  This rustic tart is perfect for fall!  Wouldn’t it even make an impressive side dish on the table for Thanksgiving dinner?

The tasty, crumbly crust was easy to make and only used a handful of ingredients.  Using a food processor, the dough came together and was in my fridge within a couple of minutes – tops!

In the past, I have been turned off from buying winter squash because they can be difficult to handle, peel and cut when raw.  Today, I softened the squash by piercing it 4- 5 times, then placing it in the microwave for about 7 minutes.  The outside of the squash was slightly softened , which made it much easier to cut in half lengthwise.  Once it was halved, the seeds and strings were removed.  The squash could be sliced further and the skin removed.

Crust:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water

Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor and pulse 2 times to mix the ingredients.  While the processor is running, drizzle the olive oil and water into the flour mixture.  The dough will start to form a crumble.  Remove and knead the dough together.  Form a disk and wrap it in parchment or wax paper.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Tart Filling:
1 acorn squash (or any winter squash)
1  red onion; thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 lemon squeezed
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
fresh thyme, salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450°.  Cut squash into large diced pieces.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet in one layer.  Toss the sliced onion in the remaining olive oil and place next to the squash.  Salt and pepper the squash and onions.  Bake for 25 minutes.

While waiting, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon and thyme in a small bowl.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and press into a round 9″ tart pan.  Spread the ricotta mixture over the dough.  Once the squash and onions have been caramelized, remove from the oven, reduce the heat to 400°.  Place the squash and onion on top of the ricotta mixture.  Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 400° for 40 minutes until golden brown.

Rustic Squash and Carmelized Onion Tart

Pumpkin Soup

We woke up to our first dusting of snow.  A perfect day to enjoy a comforting bowl of homemade pumpkin soup to celebrate the season!

We had a few small sugar or pie pumpkins leftover from Halloween decor.  I finally decided to use them for my cooking and baking.  It is so easy, but the hardest part is cutting the pumpkin.  I roasted the pumpkin by cutting them in half, scooping out the stringy pulp and seeds and then laying them cut side down in a low roasting pan with a 1/4″ of water on the bottom of the pan.  I baked in a 400° for one hour.  I now have enough roasted pumpkin for soup and two pies, plus some that I will freeze for my pumpkin pancakes.

Pumpkin Soup

4 TB butter

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 apple, peeled and diced

4 C fresh pumpkin, roasted and diced

1 TB thyme leaves

6 C chicken stock

1 C plain yogurt

1/2 C half & half

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a large dutch oven and add onions, carrots, apple and pumpkin.  Sautee on medium heat until the veggies and fruit are softened, stirring often.  Sprinkle the dried thyme over the mixture, then add chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Puree the soup using a blender or immersion blender.  Soup tastes great if served like this or cream it up by adding yogurt and half & half.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  Soup can be frozen for later use.