Guest Post: Pumpkin Pie Streusel Bars by Chip Chip Hooray!

I never thought that by joining the food blogging world that I would (virtually) meet so many awesome people, let alone meet them in person. Back in March I actually had the surreal pleasure of meeting Joanne, Kayle, Jennifer, Lauren and Tara. Even though I had never personally met Tara beforehand, she offered up her apartment as a place to rest my head (apparently I don’t come off as a complete psycho). Upon my arrival into NYC, I new we were going to be friends after having Thai from one of her favorite restaurants for dinner and a visit to a very expansive bakery for dessert (and subsequent leftovers for breakfast the next morning). We’ve already discussed an encore visit (which hopefully Tracey can join us for without any hiccups this time).

I am very happy to have Tara, of Chip Chip Hooray!, guest posting for me today. In addition to being an awesome person, she makes awesome food such as mini cookie dough donuts with chocolate glaze and biscoff white chocolate pancakes. She’s even made a typewriter cake – holy impressive! Stay turned to see what she has to share with you. P.S. She just got engaged!!

One year ago: Speculoos S’mores Cheesecake Bars

Two years ago: Baked Falafels


Pumpkin Pie Streusel 1a

Hi friends! I’m Tara from Chip Chip Hooray!, and I’m super excited to be guest posting on The Spiffy Cookie today. I’m fairly sure Erin was one of the first bloggers I ever followed, and one of the handful I’ve been lucky enough to meet in person. I’m totally in awe of the way she juggles a full-time job as a researcher and Ph.D. student with her daily blogging life. Plus she’s just endlessly creative – she is constantly coming up with awesome uses for peanut butter, cake batter, and chocolate. Love it!

I’m here to lend a blogging hand to Erin while she finishes up all her awesome Ph.D. dissertating madness. You rock, Erin! I know how hard she’s been working on this (when she isn’t making Petri dish cookies), and how much of a relief and an accomplishment it’ll be when she’s finished. A virtual cupcake toast to her!!

So in the spirit of fall – which just happens to be my favorite season – I brought some pumpkin-y, streusel-y goodness to The Spiffy Cookie today. Read on, y’all.

Pumpkin Pie Streusel 2

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Guest Post: Pumpkin Spice Pizzas & The Dollop Book of Frosting Giveaway

Only a few weeks ago, I discovered that not only did Heather “Cupcakes” Saffer of Dollop Gourmet win Cupcake Wars, but she is from my hometown Rochester, NY! We’ve already discussed how the next time I am back in town we need to bake cookies and, obviously, frost the crap out of them. After seeing her Ultimate Dude Cupcakes, I think we will be a dangerous duo and might need to wear elastic waist-band pants for this adventure.

But what does all this have to do with you? Well I am excited to have her posting here today for the finale of her cookbook blog tour for The Dollop Book of Frosting! I have a pre-release copy already and just from flipping through the recipes, it has exceeded my expectations. I love frosting but tend to stick to cream cheese or peanut butter frosting, however I think she has converted me. I had no idea there were so many uses and unique flavors for frosting!

And it gets even better because you have until Friday, September 20th to enter to win a grand prize package of frosting-related things and a signed copy of her cookbook. To find out how to enter, stick around and read what Heather has to share with you. Also, if you have any questions for her leave them in the comment section at the bottom of this post as she will be checking in throughout the day to respond.

P.S. I know that I said all I wanted for a graduation present was for someone to format my dissertation, but I have just one more request: I need this t-shirt. “FROST THIS” – I love it!

One year ago: Loaded Baked Potato Dip


Hello Spiffy Cookie readers! (I love saying that.)

I’m Heather—frosting lover, Cupcake Wars winner (gotta hang onto that 15 minutes!), parenthesis over-user, and author of The Dollop Book of Frosting!


And the cookbook (and writing it) is what I’m here to talk to you about today.

First off, I want to throw Erin some super-thanks for having me as a guest blogger. She’s got her nose to the grindstone finishing up that dissertation so I’m happy to take a load off her writing schedule for today. Also, I’m honored to have the attention of her faithful readers (you!)!

If you haven’t heard of The Dollop Book of Frosting (it doesn’t hit store shelves until this Wednesday) then I’d like to inform you that it’s not your average frosting cookbook (is that even a thing?).

I mainly wrote The Dollop Book of Frosting to debunk the myth that frosting is just for cupcakes and cookies. Because it’s not. Not even kinda. Frosting is for everything. I think Erin would agree.


Writing a cookbook is a pretty intense experience so it helps to come up with a solid strategy before you start. One of my initial thoughts was that I needed to include a variety of flavors—pumpkin being one of them.

In all honesty, I’ve never understood the fall pumpkin craze. I love pumpkin but when we’re talking pumpkin coffee and pumpkin milkshakes all we’re really getting is pumpkin flavoring. When you’re craving pumpkin aren’t you craving real pumpkin? I know I am.

Which is why I decided to devise a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting using real pumpkin.


But first a quick backstory—

In creating this very recipe for the cookbook I thought it would be neat to cut a whole pumpkin and bake and then puree the insides of it to add to the frosting. So fresh!

Well, either I wasn’t lifting enough weights back then or I bought an extra tough pumpkin because I couldn’t for the life of me cut through that thing; and I just about sliced my hand off in my efforts.

So I switched to canned pumpkin. But I swear it’s still real pumpkin—it’s just much safer to open.

And luckily it turned out so deliciously creamy, pumpkin-y, and fabulous!

I really hope you enjoy and use this Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting and Pumpkin Pizza recipe this pumpkin season.

The decorate-your-own pizzas are a fantastic snack for your pumpkin carving parties and any leftover Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese frosting can be used to fill pumpkin muffins, dip gingersnaps into, or serve atop pumpkin bread with a tall glass of pumpkin beer.
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Guest Post: Mixed Berry Slab Pie by Blahnik Baker

My guest poster today is Zainab of Blahnik Baker. Although she has never baked a cake before February or 2012, her creations will make you think otherwise. I’ve been baking for years and my layer cakes never come out as pretty as hers do. Just look at her colossal six-layer cake, and her rose frosted cake. By the way she rocks the cupcakes and makes perfect macarons too. Is there any baking challenge she cannot conquer? She definitely has had far more baking successes than failures (if any), and today she is sharing a yummy slab pie! I’ve never made one but from the looks of it I am missing out.

One year ago: Roasted Cherry Brownie Cheesecake


Hello guys!!! I am Zainab from Blahnik Baker and I am very happy to be guest posting for Erin today. While she is busy finishing up her PhD and all that stressful writing, we don’t want her stressing about her blog too. So I am here to share an easy recipe with you!

mixed berry pie

Like Erin, I am PhD student starting my 5th year and I’m about a year and a half from where she is today. I understand her troubles just so well. Unlike her, I am new to baking and food blogging. To counteract all that science in my brain, I started baking and decorating cakes as a creative outlet about a year ago and I chronicle my modest self-taught kitchen adventures on my blog.

As a newbie baker, one of the things outside of my comfort zone has always pie. Who doesn’t love a good slice of pie?? I know I do, especially summer pies! But bad luck and terrible dough escapades kept me from attempting homemade pies in the past. So it’s been my goal this summer to make delicious homemade pies. This mixed berry slab pie is exactly that!

triple berry pie

This slab pie is easy to make and perfect for the upcoming Labor Day weekend.  A cream cheese dough is filled with the best of summer’s berries.  I used a mix of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. But of course feel free to make your own mix. Either way, this pie is a glorious combination of flaky buttery crust and juicy filling of berries. It’s a win-win my friends!

Berry pie Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Pie

My dad is not only the master pancakes, but also of pies. So today I am sharing with you his apple pie, complete with his little tips for getting the crust just right! Brushing the bottom crust with a little egg helps it not get too soggy from all the apples, brushing the top crust with milk helps it to not dry out and burn, and then the use of cornstarch instead of flour helps the filling set and prevents it from flowing out like hot lava.

I’ve actually been sitting on this recipe for awhile (we made this together during the winter holidays), but thankfully pictures don’t grow mold or turn stale. In fact, looking at this picture makes me want to whip up a fresh pie. After all, apple pies can be appreciated year round.

Apple Pie

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Banana Pudding Pie

Happy Pi Day! I first made this pie for two of my labmates’ half birthdays. Half birthdays? Yes, I had missed their real birthdays two years in a row and one was evidently very unhappy about her lack of birthday treats so I made it up to them both by bringing in two different pies, this being one of them. However, the person I won over the most with this pie was our boss. He interrupted conversations about completely unrelated topics by making statements such as, “This is the best pie I’ve ever had. I must not be loyal to my family”. He then proceeded to eat a second slice and we began taking bets on when he would come back later in the day for slice #3. He did bring his wife by to have a slice herself, but he managed to restrain himself by only picking off a vanilla wafer with an excessive amount of whipped cream on it.

After that reaction, I ended up making a repeat of this pie for his birthday (not half birthday). Once gain he lost his mind and said that “if you put this pie and my mom’s black forest cake on a table, I’d grab a slice of your pie when she turned her back.” – Sshhh don’t tell! He continued to rant and rave over the fact that it had a homemade crust, homemade pudding (not banana flavored but with real bananas), and fresh whipped cream. Who knew such things could blow a person’s mind when combined together? I think it’s safe to say that if you like banana pudding you will fall in love with this pie.

Also, I’m partying by bringing this pie to the Pi Day Pie Party at Crazy for Crust today. Come check out what others are bringing!

Banana Pudding Pie

One year ago: Flower Bouquet Cake Pops

Two years ago: Cookies and Cream Peanut Butter Pie
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Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownie Mousse Pie

Last night I went to Lindsay Landis & Taylor Hackbarth’s book signing for “Breakfast for Dinner” here in Memphis! It was amazing to meet them both and I already have bookmarks sticking out all over their newest cookbook. Which lead me to the resolution that I need to cook more from my cookbooks in general. When there are that many amazing recipes, it’s a crime not to make them. First I need to make some breakfast for dinner, and then something cookie dough for dessert ;-).

But before I can dive into that we must celebrate National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day! And since I already gorged myself with Casablanca’s chocolate mousse, and a Muddy’s tomboy cupcake last night, let’s continue the gluttony today by celebrating with something obscene. If you thought the Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownies and Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Bricks were sinful, how about combining the two into one decadent pie? Oh I did it. And for the sake of my waistline and overall health, I need to never make this pie again. I work out every day for an hour or more and even that is not enough to prevent this from sticking to my belly. My ability to resist is also completely absent, so therefore I definitely cannot be in the same room as this pie without eating some. It’s. Just. Too. Good.

Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownie Mousse Pie

One year ago: Pizza Swirls

Two years ago: Caramelized Honey Dijon Chicken Wrap
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Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar-Walnut Topping

I adore my dad’s pumpkin pie. It was actually the very first pie I ever liked, because I used to think that fruit pies were gross. Mushy fruit = spoiled fruit and therefore pie was like eating a slab of rotten fruit. Thankfully I got over that. But somehow I have yet to share my dad’s pumpkin pie recipe on my blog. It’s actually adapted from the recipe on the can of pumpkin puree, except my dad uses homemade puree. This sometimes results in requiring longer cooking times due to being more liquidy than the canned stuff, but it’s worth it.

Then one day I saw this topping. Not that I thought his pie needed any improvement, but I had him try out this crumble topping when he made the pies for Thanksgiving. He made two, one with the topping and one without. The one with disappeared faster than the regular, even though most people claimed they had to have the regular – nothing new and fancy. But due to it’s disappearing act, I was unable to snag any photos of it.

Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Brown Sugar Crumble 1

So when it came time for my dad to yet again bake pies for Christmas, I requested one pie with the topping again. This time I was there to help so there really was no argument. And once again people said they “knew” they would prefer the plain version better, and once again the one with the topping went first (this was a new group of people too). And this time I got a picture before the masses descended upon it!

Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Brown Sugar Crumble 2

One year ago: Berry Detox Smoothie

Two years ago: Salmon Florentine
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Apple Pecan Pie

Apple pie is awesome. And recently I discovered that pecan pie is fantastic. But what about apple AND pecan pie? I decided to make this ultimate combination for my brother’s birthday pie after making him turkey sloppy joes. Because like me, he would rather fruit than chocolate for dessert.

Apple Pecan Pie 2

Am I a great sister or what? Oh and the pie was pretty spectacular. The crunchy bits of pecan were a great addition. Not to mention the pecan crumble topping which then got a big scoop of ice cream plopped on top. I don’t think apple pie could get any better than this.

Apple Pecan Pie 1

One year ago: German Pancakes

Two years ago: Chocolate Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies
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Peach Greek Yogurt Pie & Chobani Giveaway

Have you had a chance to try the new Chobani blended flavors yet? I was sent a case of all six flavors (mango, vanilla chocolate chunk, black cherry, blueberry, peach, and pineapple) and ended up making at least one recipe with each flavor, which I will be posting over the next week – it’s Chobani week here on The Spiffy Cookie! So how would you like to win some!? One of you will be the lucky recipient of all six 16 oz blended flavors just like I received. This giveaway is open to US residents only. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post. Giveaway ends Monday, August 20th. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and has 48 hours to respond. GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.

The first recipe I am going to share with you used the 0% peach Chobani Greek yogurt. I took a slight spin on and old favorite, strawberry yogurt pie, but obviously with peach instead. With peaches being in their prime right now I have not been able to get enough of them. The end of peach season is always a sad time, so I make sure to take in (literally) as much as I can while it lasts!

Despite the bagfuls of peaches I devour every week, some of them managed to find their way into this fluffy pie. And good thing they did, because the bits of fresh peaches resulted in perfection. It’s almost like a peaches and cream.

You could also use a pre-made graham cracker crust, but I like to be an over-achiever sometimes O:-).

Side note: Did you know that graham crackers go bad? Not just stale, but disgusting, bitter-tasting bad? My parents had an unopened box of graham crackers which they claimed to be only a couple months old, but they were in fact 3 years past their expiration date. We did not realize this until I tasted one and immediately spit it out. Awfully awful. I do not recommend.

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Guest Post: Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Tarts by Mis-Cakes Oven Adventures

Christina’s blog, Mis-Cakes Oven Adventures, has recipes to satisfy all of my sweet-food obsessions:

Speaking of peanut butter, Christina is here today sharing yet another recipe which makes my taste buds happy just from the sight of it. And yes it involves peanut butter!

One year ago: Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli


Hi The Spiffy Cookie readers, I’m Christina from Mis-Cakes Oven Adventures.  My blog is all about sweet treats made from scratch.  I love cookiessprinkles and well, let’s just be honest pretty much anything with sugar and butter.  Erin is off enjoying the world so I thought I would bring you a treat from my part of the world.  A Canadian treat… with a twist.

I got this awesome idea of making my own peanut butter using honey roasted peanuts from Kevin and Amanda.  If you have a food processor you can make your own peanut butter.  Ingredients: Peanuts.  I have no idea what took me so long to do it but it’s fabulous!!!

So I made these honey roasted peanut butter and then I needed to do something with it.  I know Erin and I both love peanut butter so it was only natural to use this fancy peanut butter for my guest post. I thought Butter Tarts with honey roasted peanut butter… um YES.

These are fabulous and super easy.  I did make my own pie crust but you can totally use premade tart shells or cut a premade pie crust.  The top is slightly crunchy while the inside just melts in your mouth.  I added a sprinkle of sea salt on the top which just helps make the peanut butter flavor shine even more. These would be great with a drizzle of chocolate or a dusting of icing sugar.

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Tarts Recipe – makes 12

1/4 c honey roasted peanut butter

1/3 c light corn syrup

1/4 c granulated sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

sea salt for sprinkling

1 single pie crust – I used my fav recipe here

To make honey roasted peanut butter

Place about 1/2-3/4 c of honey roasted peanut butter in your food processor.  Turn it on to med-high speed for about 4-5 minutes until smooth.  I scraped down the processor a couple times.  (Yes, that is it)


Preheat oven to 400 F.  Place your oven rack in the second position above the bottom, one down from the middle.

In a large bowl add corn syrup, honey roasted peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs.  Stir until well mixed and smooth.  Set aside.

Spray 12 muffin tins with non-stick spray. Take your favorite pie crust and cut 3 1/2 inch circles.  Push dough into the bottom of your muffin tins and about 1/3 up the sides.

Divide peanut butter mixture between  cups evenly.

Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the mixtures bubbles up and is browned.  The middle will sink as they cool.  Sprinkle with sea salt.

Place on a cooling rack to cool.  Serve warm or cold.  Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Recipe – adapted from Kraft Canada

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter from – Kevin and Amanda


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