There are still tiny things left to do. A few light fixtures to choose, an intercom system to install, a few missing cabinet doors, a few places where the paint needs touched up. But the big stuff is done. We have a working kitchen and bathrooms, and a fully completed media room & guest suite/laundry area. (Now...there is no 'media' or anything else, really, in the media room yet, but the ROOM is done.)
We don't really have much furniture yet but that will come. In the mean time, we're getting ready to throw a little shindig in October, where I am letting my love of all things fall run wild. (I know it's kind of #basic to love fall, but...well...sorry not sorry.) In the past few weeks I've been trying stuff out, recipes & cocktails & decor ideas, and I'm getting too excited about it not to share.
Today, let me tell you about my mini pumpkin bites.
I love a good pumpkin pie in the fall, but pies aren't super-conducive to the kind of shindig we're throwing, an all-day, come-and-go affair where folks can grab a few snacks & drinks with minimal dishes & utensils involved. What DOES play well with this sort of thing are finger foods--little snackies that you can just grab and pop into your mouth, or your kid's mouth, without the rigamarole of slicing and serving and how-big-a-piece-do-I-want & finding half-eaten slices of whatever all over the house.
Hence pumpkin bites.
I adapted my recipe from this one, and when I say adapted, all I really changed was the crust. Instead of using regular pie crust, I used puff pastry, which took a little trial and error to get right, but in the end I was pretty happy with the results (as were my co-workers, who are the usual beneficiaries of my baking experiments).
- 1 package puff pastry1
- 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup pumpkin puree2
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs + 1 egg for egg wash
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice3
- Whipped cream4
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Grease and flour (or use nonstick cooking spray) a mini-muffin pan. Set aside.
- Roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Because we're using a mini muffin tin, you'll need to roll it out VERY thin; like, I dunno, a couple of millimeters. (The first round, I rolled it out thin but not SUPER thin, and the puff pastry puffed up so much that the mini pies were mostly pastry with a little pumpkin on top. Not terrible but also not what I was going for.)
- Using a round cookie or biscuit cutter (~3 inches diameter) cut out however many rounds you want. (Since you're rolling it so thin you can probably get a lot.)
- Carefully press each round into the mini-muffin pan. Use your fingers to round the ends into a pie crust.
- Brush egg wash from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating each until combined.
- Add pumpkin puree and beat to combine. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
- Spoon mixture into each mini pie crust almost up to the top.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden around the edges.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack, or chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Pies will be puffy when they come out of the oven, but will sink back down when cooled.
- Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with more pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon on top and before serving. I like to pipe the whipped cream onto things all fancy-like with a pastry bag but you do you.
- Keep refrigerated.
1 Or make your own, which is not hard or time consuming, but also store bought is fine.
2 Not canned pumpkin pie filling; you can use real pumpkin if you have something to do with the rest of it but canned is fine.
3 You can make your own with 3 T ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1½ tsp ground allspice, & 1½ tsp ground cloves.
4 I make my own whipped cream (seriously it's SO FAST and EASY and SO MUCH BETTER and even cheaper than store bought) & you should too.