Every year my work hosts a potluck luncheon in November. I love a good potluck, so this is right up my alley.
My first year I made pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and handmade chocolate leaves for garnish. Last year I made a pumpkin trifle with layers of spice cake, pumpkin pudding, toffee pieces, and whipped cream.
In keeping with the pumpkin tradition, for this year my mind immediately went to the Pumpkin Pie Bites I saw on Bakerella’s site last fall.
Beyond cute, and autumn in your mouth.
There were some other very tasty desserts, too. Homemade submissions included Ulla’s artisan bread, Laura’s pumpkin bars, Sam’s carrot cake, Chuck’s raspberry blondies, and Marilyn’s frosted brownies.
And in particular, Matt knocked my socks off with his homemade filled donuts – in raspberry or prune. They were actually a Polish pastry called “paczki”, but Matt was kind enough to just let us call them “donuts”.
After filling my plate with Sarah’s lasagna, Holli’s baked beans, Jenn’s macaroni and cheese, Sam’s lo mein, and Tracy’s sweet potatoes with apples…I still had room for a selection of these. Now you know why I went into an immediate food coma yesterday.
SO WORTH IT.
Do you have a potluck staple? Do you have a potluck enemy? Mine is pretty much anything with mayo. Mayo and I are not friends.
Pumpkin Pie Bites
Adapted from the one and only Bakerella
2 refrigerated pie crusts (one box)*
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Pumpkin or circle cookie cutter (3.5″ across)
If you don’t have a pumpkin shaped cutter, use a plain circle. The dough scraps can be used to make stems.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get out your mini muffin tin.
- Unroll refrigerated pie crusts and roll out a bit thinner than they come. Use your cookie cutter to get 12 pumpkins out of each crust. Fit the cutouts into the muffin cups. I followed Bakerella’s advice and baked these in sets of 12, alternating cups to make sure they did not overlap. Brush the top of each cup with egg white from one of the eggs, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until smooth.
- Spoon mixture into each cup, filling up to the t0p. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until mixture has set and crusts are beginning to brown.
- Remove pies and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Chill the muffin tin in the freezer for a few minutes, then place in the next 12 cups and repeat.
To add chocolate zig-zags, put the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds on medium power. Stir and microwave again on low power for 20 seconds, repeating until you stir them smooth. Then, transfer to ziptop bag, snip the corner, and pipe away!
*Bakerella used refrigerated pie crusts, so I did too! I love a license to cheat.