Tag Archives: whoopie

Whoopie Cakes

25 Jul

Is it possible that we beat the French to a trend?

Of course whoopie pies have been a favorite on the East Coast since the 20s, but only recently reached “trendy” status.  In fact earlier this year, the whoopie pie was named the official dessert of the state of Maine!  Does California have an official dessert?  Maybe I should convene a panel to pick one…

At any rate, I subscribe to the Newsletter for a French children’s magazine, Milk.   Initially, I hoped it was a way to help me retain all that French I studied in college for my minor.  Now, it has become a source of inspiration.  I have never actually seen a copy of the magazine itself here in the states, but Jordan, of Oh Happy Day, mentioned in a recent post that she has happened upon it in San Fran.

In the latest newsletter from Milk, I noticed that they have jumped on the whoopie pie band wagon.  Or, perhaps its more of a bakers truck.  I was frankly a little surprised that these sweet, and pint-sized, cakes hadn’t become the craze in Europe that they had here sooner.  I mean if there is one thing that the French do well, its desserts!

The pies sold at La Grande Epicerie Paris are dubbed “whoopie cakes,” which honestly is probably a more appropriate name.  They sell for 3,90 Euros each, which is about $5.61 USD!     The most I’ve seen a whoopie pie sell for here in California is $3 so maybe we shouldn’t feel so guilty when we indulge ourselves?!  So start the week off right and pick up a little something sweet for yourself today.  Smile while you eat it, knowing that not only did you probably spend less than your French counterpart, but you’re one trendy step ahead of her…and I bet she can’t catch you in those heels she’s always wearing!

 

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

14 Feb

Our large and spread-out family gets together once a month to celebrate all birthdays that fall in that month.  It saves a lot of back and forth since there is almost always something to celebrate with our bunch!

Over the weekend we headed to Grandma’s to celebrate the February babies (Happy Birthday Summer, Nathan, Caitlyn and Lucas!).  We typically enjoy potluck style meal.  My contribution is almost always dessert.  So for February I brought whoopie pies!  I made Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies and Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies. 

This was my first time trying out the peanut butter recipe.  They taste similar to peanut butter cookies.  I paired it with milk chocolate frosting.  They are simple and not over-powering.  Honestly, they aren’t my favorite, but my family seemed to enjoy them.  Trying new flavors and combinations is part of the fun of Whoopie Pies though, isn’t it?!  What’ll be next?

Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies

8 Feb

Last weekend my son had a playdate with a friend from school.  The whole family was kindly invited over for dinner as well.  Taught never to show up empty-handed, I did what I do best…I baked.  Since we also had T-Ball practice earlier that day, I had little more than an hour to throw something together.

I stared at the pantry for about ten minutes.  It seemed that I was missing at least one ingredient for every recipe that I considered.  Literally, the only recipe that my kitchen could accommodate was that of Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies with milk chocolate frosting.

The Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pie recipe is actually the same as the Vanilla Whoopie Pie recipe, but with the obvious, chocolate chips, added in at the last moment.  Since whoopie pies are small, it is best to use mini chocolate chips.  Unfortunately I only had only about a 1/2 cup of mini chips.  I used regular sized semi-sweets for the other 1/2 cup and they turned out just fine.

I think the best part about this combo is that it’s basically a classic chocolate chip cookie.  You really can’t go wrong with these treats and finally I got an enthusiastic response out of my husband.  These, he says, are his favorites so far!  Mission Accomplished!

Gallactic Whoopie Pies

28 Jan

My dearest Carrie sent us the Star Wars cookie cutters and cupcake wrappers and toppers a la Williams-Sonoma for Christmas (Thank you Carrie!).  So for my son’s 5th birthday I put them to good use!

We decided not to throw a big party and instead spend the day together at Sea World.  But I did have to bring some sweet baked treats to preschool to share with the whole class.  I baked and baked and baked….

I started on the whoopie pies (vanilla with milk chocolate frosting was the requested flavor) on Tuesday morning.  I had to leave for work so I left my husband in charge.  Somehow, and I’m not placing blame, some of the whoopie pies came out slightly over-cooked.  He was kind enough to try a second batch.  I got a text message about mid day that read, “Don’t ask me how but I made biscuits again.  Sweet biscuits.”  Needless to say I had some ground to make up once I got home from work. 

With some assistance from my better half I finished all the whoopie pies and 4 dozen Star Wars shaped cookies.  It is customary in my son’s class to send goodie bags home with each child when celebrating a birthday.   I was reluctant to send the kids home with a baggie full of small toys that would no doubt end up in the trash or the hands of a younger sibling.  Instead I made Storm Trooper and Yoda cookies and placed them in clear plastic bags along with a small box of Star Wars crayons, tied off with ribbon. 

The cookies were just your standard sugar cookie recipe and I dyed one green for Yoda.  If you’re ambitious you can frost them with all the appropriate colors, but I just don’t have that kind of time.  I generally bake with a 1-year-old on my hip (Thank Goodness for my stand up mixer!  No hands!). 

The Star Wars theme was of course a huge hit with the class, since it is mostly boys.  But there wasn’t a crumb left behind, so I’d venture to guess that the girls enjoyed them too!

Christmas Re-Mix

7 Jan

The holiday season really kicked my butt.  Sadly friends, I did not have a chance to blog about all the fun crafts that I gifted or the baked goods I made for various holiday gatherings. 

So here is my catch-up post…

This being my first year as a parent of a school-age child, I was uncertain about what to give to my son’s teachers  for Christmas.  So I did what I do best–Bake.  I gave each of the four–yes! four!–teachers tins full of delish cookies.  My husband insisted that I make peanutbutter kisses (peanutbutter cookies with a chocolate kiss pressed into them), a favorite from his own childhood.  Since that alone wasn’t going to fill the tin, I also made one of my favorites, Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Chip

On the first day back to school, we had lovely thank you notes from the teachers, gushing about the tastey cookies!

For my dear sweet co-blogger cousins I stamped them each their very own woodgrain pic with theirs and their loves initials in them

I found matching salt and pepper shakers for Caasi from Anthropologie.  And I know she’s already used them!  For Summer, months ago I was checking out  Twig & Thistle and fell for the cute little nesting dolls used as cake toppers.   I quickly ordered my own unfinished nesting dolls from Amazon.  They come in sets of 5.  It was perfect for Summer’s family!  I painted each one to sport the likeness of Summer, her husband, and each of her three kids. 

Our family celebrates Christmas early…I mean really early…like weeks in advance of the actual day.  So the actual day itself  is typically freed up to be spent with close friends.  We headed over to the Sullivan Home for Christmas dinner.  I brought a side of maple glazed carrots and some peppermint whoopie pies for dessert. 

I used chocolate cakes and the traditional marshmallow filling and then rolled them in crushed up candy canes.  I’ve seen these sold in stores like William-Sonoma, but they are super easy to do at home.  Very festive!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season!  Happy New Year!

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

16 Dec

I recently hosted a baby shower for one of my nearest and dearest. As she is having a girl, it was hard to exclude pink, but I did my best to balance it out with lots of creams and greens.

Baby showers can easily become a cliché, so I did my best to keep it modern and clean….much like the new parents!

The invites I created on my computer and simply e-mailed them to my local FedEx Kinko’s for printing. I also carved out a stamp using the image of the stork. I stamped it on the envelope so that they coordinated with the homemade invites inside.

Once I had decided on the style of the invite, the rest of the decorations came from there. A diaper cake is a must have at a baby shower, so I made one using one package of size 1 diapers. I covered a cake round with some cute coordinating scrapbook paper and layered my diapers on top. I used a big container of baby powder and a chop stick to hold everything together in the center. I created a bouquet of felt flowers in different sizes to decorate the cake, and topped it with a stork matching the invite.

Since I went in a “Sugar & Spice” direction, I knew immediately that I wanted to have a Candy Bar. Who wouldn’t love to create their own to go bag of their favorite candies in lieu of the traditional party favor?

We had simple finger foods for the guests–Sandwiches, veggies, pita chips, etc–and instead of a traditional cake, in keeping with the finger foods, I made vanilla whoopie pies with strawberry glaze.

Mama got lots of great stuff for the baby and more importantly, we all had the chance to express our heartfelt congratulations to the happy couple and share in the love and excitement of this time in their lives!

Vanilla Whoopie Pies With a Little Something Extra

9 Dec

One of the great things about Whoopie Pies is that the combinations are endless. You have the cakes…then the frosting…then the potential for glazes, or sprinkles. When I’m trying to come up with something new I think of a favorite flavor and try to do it a new way. When deciding the particulars for a casual baby shower (post to come!) I knew I wanted to include whoopie pies since for a party setting the are a perfect bite-sized, no-utentsil-needed dessert. Since this was for a party, I had to consider color coordination. Nothing says baby girl like pink and nothing says pink like a strawberry glaze.

For the cakes, I used a standard vanilla cake recipe. For the filling, I used store-bought vanilla frosting (not fluffy white…I think it would be too sweet). For color and just enough flavor I made a simple strawberry glaze. Once the pieces the pies together, I very carefully dipped them into the glaze and let them set on a wire rack with some parchment paper underneath to catch any excess glaze.

They not only turned out beautiful, but very light, and just sweet enough. I will definitely make these again! In the Spring they’ll make a great addition to Easter baskets and in the Summer they will be a lovely picnic ready treat!

A Praline Disaster

22 Nov

For our annual International Thanksgiving Party, I contributed desserts. I made the classic pumpkin whoopie pies, but I wanted to try out a new recipe that my friend Betty Crocker gave me. It sounded great on paper–pumpkin cake, praline topping, pecans, and doctored up cream cheese frosting–how could it go wrong?

I have myself to blame. I was running late, as usual. After baking the whoopie pies I realized that I did not have any cupcake papers for the season. I ran down the street to my local Michaels. They were, of course, totally cleaned out of all Thanksgiving decorations. I settled on gold. At that disappointing moment, all of San Diego descended upon my Michaels. I waiting another 10 minutes in line to pay for my second choice cupcake papers.

By the time I got home, I had thirty minutes to finish my cake, put the whoopie pies together and get myself together. An impossible feat.

The whoopie pies are so simple and travel really really well so they were not the problem. My praline pumpkin cake, however, was a different story.

Sadly, this is my praline pumpkin cake’s finest moment. In a flurry of activity I frosted and boxed the cake before it had completely cooled. In the 5 minutes it takes to get to Summer’s house from mine, the frosting had melted and the top layer of cake had fallen off and broken into several pieces.

When we arrived I was informed that I also looked as if my top layer had fallen off and broken into several pieces (thanks, Summer).

We were able to salvage some of the cake by cutting it into bite-sized pieces and serving them on a cute dish.

If its true that it’s what’s on the inside that counts then this recipe is a winner. It tastes warm and gooey. The pumpkin flavor of the cake was just enough and it was ultra-moist. The praline was sweet and crunchy, and adding the pumpkin pie spice to the cream cheese frosting was just genius!

I would call this attempt a disaster, but I would definitely try this recipe again…when I have a little more time on my hands!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

22 Oct

 

This weekend is the annual Fall Festival at my son’s school.  They ask that the parents help in whatever capacity they are able.  Can you guess what I volunteered for?

I’ve been making pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting for Thanksgiving for years.  When trying to choose which baked goods in my arsenal I would donate to the Fall Festival, whoopie pies were an obvious choice.  I think they are great for functions like this where people may not be able to sit down while they eat. 

As I dropped them off this morning the mothers in charge of the “Sugar Shack” at the fair noted how fragrant they were.  I suspect that if the house is still filled that warm yummy pumpkin aroma by the time I get home tonight I might just have to bake another batch to keep!

For this batch I used the pumpkin whoopie pie recipe from my new go-to baking bible “Whoopie Pies” by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell.  For the frosting filling I used cream cheese frosting from the grocery store.  Hey, don’t judge me!  Mostly homemade is the best I can do with two kids and a full-time job!

We are headed to the Fall Festival tonight.  I am eager to see how they sell.  I hope they go for at least two tickets each!  I think they’re worth it!!

Peanut Butter Cup Whoopie Pies

6 Oct

 

I love to bake.  It’s no secret.  My husband, however, is not a huge fan of sweets.  And while I am more than happy to eat his share of the baked goods in the house, I thought I would offer up something a little salty as well as sweet.  One of the few treats that he does love is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  They are great on ice cream or inhaled on their own. 

These Whoopie Pies were inspired by the yummy peanut butter cup candies.  The cake part of the Whoopie Pie (is it a cake or a cookie?) is chocolate.  I topped one cake with peanut butter filling and one with a chocolate ganache. 

Because these Whoopie Pies are reminiscent of a classic candy, they are perfectly sweet comfort food for the cooler days ahead!  Enjoy!

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