Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kids Cooking Class - Pumpkin Pie Bites!

For this month's Kids Cooking Class with my MOMS Club, I trotted out the recipe I had planned to do last year, but got cancelled due to lack of interest (only one RSVP.) This time I had as many as 14 RSVP's (including my kiddo,) which only dwindled down to 10 at the actual event, which is a great turn-out!

A take on Bakerella's Pumpkin Pie Bites
Makes 24

1 package refrigerated ready-to-roll pie crusts (should have 2 crusts,) room temperature
8-oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar (Or less - see notes on Step 5.)
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs (Just 2 eggs if you're skipping Step 4.)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 3/4"-ish wide pumpkin shaped or circle cookie cutter
mini muffin pan(s)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
[Steps 2-4 can be done before or after step 5. Your choice.]
2. Use a rolling pin to flatten each pie crust a little thinner than it comes when you roll it open. Cut as many pumpkin shapes out as you can. Combine and re-roll scraps. Use both crusts to make 24 pumpkin shapes (if you make a few more, that's okay. You'll have enough filling left.
3. Press dough shapes into mini muffin pan(s.) Use alternate cups, so the crusts don't overlap. You may need to re-use the same pan multiple times. You can stick it in the freezer after cooking and emptying to cool it quickly for each subsequent batch.
4. (optional) Separate egg whites from one of the eggs and apply to the top edges of each pie.
[I didn't bother with this step, and the crusts looked and tasted fine. I was not in the mood to separate an egg while surrounded by grabby little hands, and had no desire to sanitize someone else's kitchen after letting them loose with raw egg whites. Plus I hate wasting a yolk, just for aesthetics.]

5. Mix canned pumpkin, cream cheese, sugar, two eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.
I actually had just grabbed a little Tupperware with sugar left over from my last cooking class, and it looked like enough, but apparently wasn't! So we didn't have a full 1/2 cup of sugar, and they tasted plenty sweet. Next time I'd like to try it with brown sugar! Yum!
May I recommend a food processor, mixer or blender? Preschoolers do not make the best mixers for this recipe! The cream cheese was very clumpy in this, and looks odd. But tasted oh-so-gooood!
6. Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
[Cleverly took no pictures of this part. The kids kept dropping the spoon back into the bowl, getting the handle all gooey, so I spent this time grabbing paper towels and wiping off hands and spoons, with no time for my camera. I have no excuse for forgetting to take a pic after doing the other crust-worth after I got home, though.]
Their pies
Keep cooked pies refrigerated unless gobbled up immediately by hordes of hungry pint-sized chefs and siblings.

They were a huge hit! Only one girl didn't like hers, so 'graciously' offered it to her mom. Another mom was floored that both her kids gobbled them down, and asked for the recipe! Z ate her crust edge, then gave me the rest.
Since I managed to squeak out one for each child off of one pie crust, after we got home I made another round with the other crust. I did manage to make 12, which seemed impossible when I was doing them with the kids, but I had saved the scraps from the first crust too, so I had a little wiggle room. Either my cutter is larger than Bakerella's, or I wasn't pushing them as deep into the muffin cups. And I had plenty of filling left over. It was pretty tasty... until I remembered that it contains raw eggs. Not that I worry about that normally, but while I'm willing to risk myself on a bad egg, my attitude is different when pregnant!
MY batch
Tips for making this with kids:
1. I measured out all the ingredients, but let the kids pour into the bowl. I helped one boy crack the egg (he really wanted to crack it!) and we cracked it into a smaller bowl first (actually one of the measuring cups, after it had been used for the sugar.) This way you can pick out any errant shell bits, as well and make sure it's not a bad egg before contaminating the whole thing. It's also a great way to let the kids add the eggs if you don't want them actually touching them.
2. I rolled out the dough, mostly because we didn't have time for me to let them mess it up. But kids LOVE using the rolling pin, and if you don't care about having to fix it over and over, let them! 
3.They were all able to make a pumpkin shape with the cutter on their own (well, the under-two crowd needed a little help from their mommies. But it was still great fun!)
4. Whether or not you plan to use an electric mixer, you can let the kids mix the ingredients as you go.
5. They each put their pumpkin dough on the hole they wanted, then I helped them fit it in better. Then they went to town spooning in filling. Some were messy and overfilled, but who cares? One of the nice things about pumpkin pie filling is that it cooks solid, so wasn't oozing out all over after baking. It just cooked right on!
6. Using our senses: We talked about the various ingredients as we used them. I showed them the container of sugar and the can of pumpkin mush and asked if they could guess what they were (there was a picture of pie on the front, but not a pumpkin.) I had them sniff the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice (if interested.) I also offered tastes on everything except the raw eggs. I had a bunch of dishwashable flexible cutting mats from Ikea as our work surface, so I just poured, sprinkled or plopped stuff down for them to try. Since I apparently didn't have enough sugar, they just used their fingers to scrape up loose granules off the empty container that got passed around.
7. While they cooked, I read a few books. Had I planned ahead better, I would have picked only pumpkin-themed books, but she was already in bed when I was packing my tote of stuff, and most of the books were in her room. I had some from the Scholastic order that had just arrived from her school that I was doling out (so she isn't overwhelmed and underimpressed with 23 new books at once. This way she gets a new one or two every few days and is excited about each one.) So I had only one pumpkin book, and some Autumn-themed books. We read Five Little Pumpkins
Let it Fall!
and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves

Shibley Smiles

 It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow 
Classified: Mom


  1. Love this idea and that the kids can help. I have pinned this because I really want to do it with my girls. Found you on It's Playtime and I am now following you on Twitter. Vicky from

  2. What a great idea! My daughter would love making these. They look yummy and fun! Thanks for sharing :-)

  3. These turned out so cute! Love the idea of using the cookie cutter!! :)

  4. I would love it if you would link up some of your great ideas on my new Monstrously Creative link party! I'm featuring some great ideas this week, and yours could be next! Come join the party!
    Mandi at BBM

  5. I love pumpkin and these look like so much fun! So going to make those this month. Thanks for sharing on It's Playtime.

  6. Thanks for linking this up to Monstrously Creative Saturday! These look fun and delicious! :)
    Mandi at BBM

  7. these are so fun! I think I have the same cookie cutter!

  8. I love your pumpkins! I bet they were really yummy!

    Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.


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