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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pumpkin Mousse Double-Layer No Bake Pie!

But first, if you like photography and voting, please visit this site and vote for my pictures if you find any you like.  This picture in particular Maple leaf veins is only 3 votes away from 100 and will win a special "award" when it hits 100!
To vote you need to register (simple on the site above) and click DIG IT or NIX IT. 

Ok, on to the pie!!!
My favorite non-traditional pumpkin pie is silky and creamy with a nutty, buttery graham cracker crust..if you have not tried it, you should!  People are usually impressed with the flavors and especially the crust...
The recipe is adapted from an old Cool Whip recipe and Honey Maid Graham cracker crumbs.   I apologize for the less than spectacular pictures....I was in a hurry!!!

Here is the recipe!
1 1/4 cups finely-crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
5 Tablespoons melted butter
Or you can use a store-bought graham cracker crust if you don't want to turn your oven on!

Bottom layer:
4 oz cream cheese, softened (I use whole fat, but lower fat would probably be ok)
1 Tablespoon 1/2 and 1/2
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups Cool Whip  or sweetened whipped heavy cream

Pumpkin mousse layer
3/4 cup half and half (you can use milk or heavy cream also)
2 (3.4 ounce) packages of vanilla flavored instant pudding.
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1  Libby's canned pumpkin 15 ounces (I find other brands too watery)

In a medium-size bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, nuts, and then stir in the melted butter to combine. Press mixture into a 9 inch pie plate and bake in a 350° preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes.   Remove crust from oven and cool to room temperature.  

While crust is cooling soften the cream cheese in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power for about 30 seconds .  In a medium-size bowl mix the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon half-and-half, and 1 tablespoon sugar with a wire whisk until well combined. Carefully fold in the 1 1/2 cups of Cool Whip.  Spread this layer on top of the pie crust and refrigerate while preparing the pumpkin topping.

In a large bowl mix the dry pudding mix and pumpkin pie spice to combine.  Then add the 3/4 cups half and half  and mix thoroughly and quickly-the pudding will start to set up so you want to add your pumpkin quickly.  Then whisk in the pumpkin and make sure there are no pudding lumps.. whisk until smooth-it will be thick.
Remove the cooling pie from the refrigerator and top with pumpkin mousse mixture.  Refrigerate for approximately 4 hours or until set.   Enjoy!!

*  you can substitute the following spices for pumpkin pie spice to make approximately 2 teaspoons:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cinnamon rice crispy treats

I have not been posting lately because I've been taking and entering photos in a photo contest called  Capture Minnesota (see some photos at the end of this post).   However, I still look for baking bargains when I'm out shopping for staples.. I perused the baking aisle at Target the other day looking for nut sales and these caught my eye:

Yup, not nuts.  Cinnamon Bun marshmallows-I had no idea they existed!  I ate a dozen before thinking they would be better for me mixed with vitamin-enriched cereal!!   I substituted them for regular marshmallows and they were a hit! 
They came out a bit more golden than regular rice crispy bars, but they tasted great!  The cinnamon was not too strong...

I just followed the recipe on the rice crispy box, but I did add 5 T butter rather than 4.
If you try them, let me know what you think!  They also have pina colada marshmallows..wonder what they would taste like in a rice crispy bar??????
Photos-all were taken at my house and in my yard...

Noodle pudding-kugel

Monarch "straw"

Lantana berries

Fall leaves abstract

Dying aster

Sugar maple on fire

Sunflower center