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Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes! Every Thursday and Friday I will introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! This week I am bringing you author, Galen Rose, and her recipe for Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Eggnog Cream Cheese Filling along with an introduction to her contemporary romance, A Place to Rest My Heart. Please join me in welcoming Galen and savor her recipe for Whoopie Pies as you read about her new book!

For the past six years at Christmas time I have entered a cookie contest at my favorite gift store. I have been circling first place for a few years and last year, won with this recipe. I choose this recipe for today because it’s a winner and in my book, A Place to Rest My Heart, our heroine and hero finally get together at Christmas.

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Eggnog Cream Cheese Filling

Yield: About 5 dozen assembled

Bake Time: 10 – 11 minutes

For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (you can substitute pumpkin pie spice for more pumpkin taste)
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
2 ½ cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin) (you might need to add a little more if mixture looks too thick)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Eggnog Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

¼ – ½ tsp. eggnog flavor *

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Measure out the pumpkin filling into a bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill while you prep everything else. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. (or use the paddle attachment of an electric mixer)

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.

5. Use a small cookie scoop * to drop a rounded, heaping teaspoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Lightly wet the tip of your finger and smooth out the tops of the cookies and flatten slightly.

6. Bake for 10 – 11 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

7. To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the vanilla bean paste, ¼ tsp. eggnog flavor and beat until smooth. Taste the filling. Here is where to add a drop or two more of the eggnog flavor but be very careful, it can easily overpower everything! Place in refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up.

8. To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a teaspoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.*

NOTES: I adapted this recipe from Browneyedbaker.com to make them mini size for a cookie contest. I use a teaspoon cookie scoop I found at kingarthurflour.com. This scoop works great for rounding the cookie. The eggnog flavor came from kingarthurflour.com as well. I used a piping bag with a star top to pipe the filling onto the mini cookies. I found mini cupcake papers at my local craft store. I flatten the papers out a little to rest the pies on them and keep them from sticking to each other.

A Place to Rest My Heart Blurb:

When Laney Murphy walks into Muldoon’s Pub in San Francisco, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The Muldoon family’s offer of a job and a place to stay seems just too good to be true. And once she meets Sean Muldoon, the suspicious and distrustful son of the pub owners, she knows she was right – he clearly detests her.

Sean is on the fast track as a bodyguard with Woo Security and he isn’t going to allow some grifter to get in his way or to mess with his family. But he soon discovers that Laney is not all sharp tongue and sarcasm, and he finds himself wanting to kiss her more than deck her.

But Laney’s past comes back to haunt her and she soon must put her life on the line to save Sean and the family she has come to love.

Excerpt:

Sean ignored Jacob and scowled at me. I guessed Mr. Arrogant was not happy with me being here in his territory. Tough. I wasn’t planning on leaving right away. Mostly because I wanted to put Sean’s pretty nose out of joint, mentally and physically, and to be perfectly honest, I liked Tommy. Well hell, let’s be even more honest, I needed a job and I could not afford to be picky.

The hall opened up to the pub. There were several teenagers putting up a “Goodbye” banner and blowing up balloons. They waved at Tommy and continued decorating.

“We’re closed on Sunday,” Tommy said, lifting up the pass thru for me to go behind the bar.

Sean came around and sat down at the front of the bar, while Tommy leaned against the counter. “Well?” Tommy looked expectantly at me.

I smiled, picked up a pencil, and quickly pulled my hair up into a loose bun on my head using the pencil to hold it in place. I washed my hands and, flipping a clean bar towel over my shoulder, picked up a pint glass and got to work. I noticed a bartender’s guidebook tucked into a shelf below the bar. I picked it up with my free hand and tossed it to Sean.

“Ask me.” I pointed to the book. “Go ahead, Mr. Arrogant. Ask me about any drink.”

He looked at me for a moment and then flipped through the book.

“Piña Colada.” He smirked. His voice was all bravado and he was daring me to beat him. The gauntlet had been thrown and far be it from me to let it lie.

I sighed and shook my head, “Is that the best you can do? Coconut cream, pineapple juice, light rum, blend with ice and serve in a highball glass with a garnish of cherry and orange. But I like to get a bit fancier and make a small shish kabob of fruit and one of those little umbrellas. Now ask me something harder.”

I was slowly building the pint. Making sure not to draw too much foam. Building a Guinness is a painstaking process. Though it wasn’t the drink for me, I have found that those who appreciate its strong, yeasty taste appreciate the way it’s made too.

Sean thumbed through the book. “Angel’s Lips?”

“Benedictine and Baileys.”

“Banshee,” he fired off.

“Crème de cacoa, crème de banana, and sweet cream, mixed with ice and strained.”

The more I got correct, the more determined Sean became to find one I didn’t know. Jacob came from the back and the kids had stopped setting up decorations and were listening. I’d already made my shamrock shape on the perfectly proportioned foam head of the pint and handed it to Tommy for his inspection, while Sean was doing his damnedest to find something I didn’t know. I made a drink for Sean and set it on the counter.

“Here is something especially for you. I think it’s right up your alley, Ace. I call it a sour puss.” With that, I plucked the book out of his hands and put it away and turned to Tommy who was holding back laughter.

“Well?” I asked.

“You can start tonight at the party.” Tommy turned to look at Jacob. I guess for Sean’s sake they waited until he slammed out the front door before letting loose with the laughter.

Meet Galen:

Galen Rose lives in the Santa Cruz Moountains with her very patient, supportive husband, a teenage son determined to give her more gray hair and 3.5 cats. When she is not touching up the gray, chasing out the wildlife the cats bring in, she can be found imagining and writing more adventures for her characters. She loves to cook, bake and is an avid and impatient gardener.

Find Galen:

http://www.galenrose.com

https://www.facebook.com/GalenRose

https://twitter.com/GalenRose1

http://pinterest.com/galnrose/

Buy the Book:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Place-Rest-My-Heart-ebook/dp/B008G3BR28/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347861234&sr=8-1&keywords=a+place+to+rest+my+heart

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-place-to-rest-my-heart-galen-rose/1111929363?ean=9781440552175

ITunes –  http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-place-to-rest-my-heart/id544003031?mt=11

Giveaway Alert!!!

Post a comment on my Facebook page, or Blog page about this post and you could win 2 silicone baking sheets and a teaspoon cookie scoop.

Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipe! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and read a new book!

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