These cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot tea or make a great afternoon snack if you bring your lunch to work. They are soft and cakey with the subtlest hint of spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg. The tartness of the Granny Smith Apple provides a nice balance to the rich frosting. Their simple appearance is deceiving – you’ll be really pleased how good they taste when you bite into them. It’s the happiest I’ve been with a recipe in months.
The second dessert I made for the baby shower was vegan moon pies. If you’ve never had a MoonPie they’re soft graham cracker like cookies, filled with marshmallow, and covered in chocolate. To make these vegan I had to take some liberties with the filling and used a fluffy frosting instead of marshmallow. It’s difficult to come by vegan marshmallows and homemade recipes called for agar powder which I didn’t have. These were delicious- very rich and very sweet.
Every year my office has a “secret snowflake” gift exchange and holiday sweets potluck. Since I frequently bring sweets to work throughout the year I try to make something special for the potluck. To make it more difficult for myself, I also make enough so that every person in the department could try one if they wanted to. In the past the most popular dessert I’ve brought is pumpkin whoopie pies. They were a huge hit, and I considered making them again, but I always prefer to try something new. I thought gingerbread would be appropriately seasonal and have similar flavors, but also would allow me to try a new recipe.
These are without a doubt the most popular thing I’ve ever made. Nothing else even comes close. So many of my friends consider these whoopie pies to be the best thing I’ve ever made and one even went so far as to describe them as the best dessert he’s ever had.
This past weekend was Pat’s grandfather’s 85th birthday. I was very excited when I found out it was a pot luck. I love sharing food with new people. Pat suggested I make these chocolate caramel slices. Pat suggests these bars for almost every occasion, but with good reason – they’re delicious, rich, and always a crowd pleaser.
On Sunday night I attended a Lost series finale party with a good versus evil theme. Originally I’d planned on making Devil’s Food cupcakes and Angel Food cupcakes, but then I saw these whoopie pies in my brand new (and new favorite) cookbook Whoopie Pies.
Half chocolate cake, half vanilla cake, and then dipped in a dark chocolate glaze. They perfectly fit the theme and tasted delicious. I did hit one snag when making these: I misread the recipe for the vanilla whoopies and put baking soda instead of baking powder. That lead to these…
My Nana is the queen of whoopie pies. She makes huge batches every Christmas and any other time they are requested. They are requested quite often, because they are SO good. This past Christmas she substituted her normal vanilla filling with peanut butter and chocolate, and it was a really nice change of pace.
Some important whoopie pie tips from my Nana:
1) Use a cookie scoop. The size of the scoop isn’t so important – these work as mini or full size whoopie pies – but using the scoop is super important so all of your cakes are the same size. You’ll also use the same size scoop to get the perfect amount of filling.
2) Individually wrap your pies in plastic wrap. Whoopie pies are often classified as a cookie, but they are really cake. They’ll stick together if you don’t wrap them. I guess you could just put parchment paper between the layers, but the saran wrap serves the dual purpose of helping to keep the cakes moist. Read the rest of this entry »
Valentines Day is coming up and I think it is a perfect holiday to celebrate with baking. Red Velvet cake is no brainer but while looking for a recipe I came across a few of these red velvet cookies that looked very fun, and more portable and less messy than a cupcake or cake. I am looking for a better red food coloring substitute, using a whole bottle of dye in one cake mixture just doesn’t seem right. Next time I am going to experiment with beet juice and crushed strawberries, I’m hoping that will yield a moist and more natural cake. For the time being this recipe is very easy, takes no time to make and even less time to be eaten by your roommates.
I’m planning on making these for valentines day and handing out to my friends. Much more fun than the usual whitman sampler, and who doesn’t get excited by a hand held cake? Why hasn’t hostess jumped on this yet?
*I’m going to suggest cutting the sugar on these, I found them very sweet. I think you would be fine using only 1/2 a cup. and upping the baking soda to 3/4 teaspoon. They look a little flat as shown above.