Thursday, September 13, 2012

Whoopie Pies

Whoopie pies!!!

       I haven't made these in a while, and since it was the last family cook-out of the year I thought I'd make something a little special to bring.  I looked at all my cook books, and waaay at the end of my enormous stack I found my whoopie pie book that I completely forgot I had!  It sounded like a plan to me.

 Because of my little sister and brother, I have a little trouble getting the names of these things straight now, simply because they both called them something different.  So, I'm just warning you now, if I say "cookie pie", or "whoopie cushion" instead, you can thank Douglas and Jillian for that.  But in the end, thEy came out good, and were a big hit!  Don't forget to comment and tell me what you think!!

I'm getting off topic, what I'm trying to do is show how I made whoopie pies.  Here it goes.....

As usual, I will put all of the ingredient measurements down at the bottom, but for now let me walk you through the steps. ☺ Here I have the brown sugar and soft butter.  Here's a tip, see that one chunk of brown sugar towards the bottom?  That's cause the sugar was starting to dry out a bit, a way to prevent this is to put your brown sugar in the freezer.  It won't stay moist forever, but it will last longer, just take it out 10 minutes before you need it, otherwise it's hard as rock.

The butter was really soft, so I was just able to use a spatula to cream them together.

 Add one egg, and the vanilla, mix again!  The consistency should be kinda like peanut butter...


  Here is the flour, baking soda, and salt.  I like this recipe because all you do is throw the wet in, and mix them.  Then you do the same dry and mix them.

Now put in the coco powder and milk in.  Here is two tips, one always SIFT your coco powder, nobody like tiny chocolate lumps in floating around.  Also, when ever I see a recipe calls for milk, I use butter milk.  It adds extra richness to anything you make!  Sometimes when I have to make a cake for one of the kids birthday party and I don't have time to make a cake from scratch I use a box mix cake and do some stuff to it to make it REALLY good (I'll have to do a post on that soon).  One of the things I always do is, when the mix calls for water or milk, I always do buttermilk, it's so much better.  I never have buttermilk on hand, so I do a mixture of milk to a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar, you could use plain yogurt too.  Check out my "Back to the Basics" page and you'll see how to do that.

Once you mix it all up, the batter is going to feel like a thick cake batter, or kind of like a cake-like brownie. 

Now you have to line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or you can just spray it with non-stick cooking spray, it doesn't matter.  Either way works.  I have them about 1-1/2 - 2 inches apart because they spread out quite a bit. You'd be surprised how many this recipe for cookie... I mean whoopie makes.

See what I mean?  You'll only get about half of what you see here cause you have to put them together to make little sandwiches.  Besides what you see here, I had about 10-12 more on a plate that didn't fit on the cooling rack.

This part takes a few minuets.  You want to match up the whoopies that are closest in size to each other.

I had this frosting left over from the cupcakes I made for Jillian's birthday party that I just used for the whoopie pies.  That's what is so much fun about these things, you can put any kind of filling in the middle of them, and they are different every time!  This is a chocolate butter cream I used here, but you could do the classic way of a marshmallow cream, or anything you wanted, really!  Here is where you can get creative!  Just fill 'em and top 'em!

A little sprinkle of coco powder, and your good to go!

Chocolate whoopie pies: yields 30

1 stick butter, soft
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 extra large egg
2 c. flour
1/2 c. unsweetened coco powder 
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
pinch of salt

CREAM together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy.  Mix in the egg, vanilla, and salt until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients (don't forget to sift that coco powder!) and the butter milk to the bowl and mix until just combined,.  Don't over mix.  line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and pre=heat the oven to 375°.  Scoop heaping tablespoons full of the mixture onto the lined baking tray and bake fore 5-7 minuets.  or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Fill with a frosting, filling or cream of your choice and enjoy.  Store leftovers in a air tight container. 


Friday, July 27, 2012

Butterscotch Candies

     My sister and I both love butterscotch candy and the only time we get them is when my mom goes to the chiropractor, the Dr. puts out a little dish of peppermints she has on the counter, and there is always a few butterscotch hidden amongst all the other candies.
     So the other day I wanted to make something new, and I ended up looking through my moms old candy-making book and I found this recipe for 'Butterscotch Pillows' I wanted to try.  The only problem was that I don't have and metal candy making bars so I couldn't shape them into the long logs that it says to do.  Instead I went ahead and made little lollipops out of the candy, take a look.

WARNING!!!!  Working with the hot candy syrup can be very dangerous so you must be VERY careful! 

First, melt down one stick of butter.  It is butterscotch after all!

After the butter is melted you need to add the other stuff.  Just as a warning, you don't want to stir this to often otherwise the candy will look kinda funky and dull when your all done.

I had a hard time getting a picture of adding the corn syrup and water, but trust me it's in there.  You can see a little bit of the corn syrup on the sugar and that's about it.

Once you mix up all of the ingredients you are going to keep stirring NON STOP until EVERYTHING is dissolved.  Then DON'T mess with it!!!

This is when it starts to get boring because it takes about an hour to cook down.  I put on the thermometer onto the side of the an and waited for it to reach 278°.... 

Right here I was starting to freak out cause I thought that it was going to spill over the pan, but when I gave it a little stir it was okay.  Don't start to stir until the bubbles start to come and even then don't stir very often.  Maybe only three or four times through out the whole time cooking it.

This was about half way through and I couldn't believe how much it reduced!  When I started out the pan was about half full, then at this point there was half of that left.  Also it started out as white, and then it just kept getting darker in color until it turned a caramel-ish color and it was really pretty.

Once it reached the right temperature....

I took it off the heat and added a little bit of lemon juice, that's to help stay the way it is and not crystallize.

Then I mixed once more to mix in the lemon.

And you have to keep mixing until all of the bubbles go away.

Then I poured it into a 8x8 in. greased pan, and I let it sit for 30 minutes so it could set a little.

It was a little warm, but I took little grape sized chunks and rolled them into balls.  You've go to work fast, otherwise that candy will get hard on you.


 See?  This is half way through.

Then I stuck tooth picks in them to make little lollipops

Some of them sagged a little bit, but that was only cause it was humid out and it messed up the drying time.

Here is a close up...

And here is what happens when you let Jillian 'help' you roll, you end up with one normal one, one corn dog looking one and one hairball looking one.  Guess what ones she is going to have to eat?

Butterscotch Candy:  Yields a lot.
1/2 c. butter
2 c. white sugar
1/2 light corn syrup
3/4 c. water
1 t. lemon juice

TURN the heat to med. and put the butter in a three quart sauce pan until it melts.  Add the sugar, water, corn syrup and continuously mix until all the sugar is dissolved.  Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan and let the mixture continue cooking until it reaches 278° stirring occasionally so it won't burn.  Take off heat and mix in lemon, keep mixing until all the bubbles are gone, pour into greased pan and let sit for 30 min.  When cool enough to touch, slightly oil your hands and roll into tight balls, insert tooth pick.  Repeat until all are complete.  Let cool completely.

TIP!  If your candy gets too hard while your working with it, just put in a 200° oven for a few minutes and it will soften again.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Cookie!!

     This right here is the cookie of all cookies, the grand-daddy of 'em all.  It's the kind of cookie that you take a bite of and you say "get those away from me!  I can't stop eating them!"
     The only problem with them is, I can't figure out a name for them!  I'm no good with catchy names,and slogans so for now they are just called "the cookie".  I created these wonderful things for my little brother, Douglas.  My sister was a Girl Scout and when cookie-selling rolled around Douglas would ask for his favorite cookie called Peanut Butter Patties, the only problem is he couldn't get enough of them!  I mean between him an Mitchell one box wouldn't last ten minuets!
     So that was when I formulated a plan, I took a little bite of the cookie and tried to figure out how it was done, to my surprise I found out that they were quite simple!
     If you are lover of this cookie like my brother you will be happy to find an easy alternative that tastes just as great and is a heck of a lot cheaper to make.

What I found out was one that cookie the peanut butter tasted a little different, almost....richer.  So I added some powdered sugar. But it still didn't taste quite right.....

So I added some melted butter.

When I mixed it up it smelled sooo good!  It tasted like peanut butter only better.

When you bite into a Peanut Butter Pattie you hit a cookie, and what I have found out is that all that cookie is a Nilla wafer.  Don't mind the stickers, we ran out of tape.

First you have to spread all of them out flat.  I roped my sister into helping me with this project, this is a much easier job with two people.  Plus it's nice to have somebody to talk to, and tell you when your singing badly to the music :)

I did two boxes of Nilla wafers because I was bringing them somewhere and I wanted there to be enough.


 I put the peanut butter mixture in a piping bad with a #12 piping tip, this makes things go a lot faster.  I used to do it with a butter knife and it would take FOREVER!

I had to stand really far back in order to get everything in.

See that spoon in Jillian's hand??!?!  That was just a prop!  She didn't actually do anything until it came to the chocolate part.

When I first started making these I used Wilton's Candy Melts, I liked them for the cake pops but for this they just didn't cut it.  So this time around I got a couple of big Hersey's chocolate bars and it was like a dream!  When I melted it it was so smooth and it stayed nice until the very end unlike the Candy Melts.

 And this is the never-ending-dipping stage.  This is where is gets slightly tedious, this takes quite a while I think it ended up about three or four hours but that was cause we ran into a little problem that you don't need to know about...

When you lift the cookie out of the chocolate, you want to let all of the extra chocolate drip off otherwise things will just be a mess.   

And then place the cookie on a wax paper lined baking sheet to set.

I've got my concentrating face on because this is very hard work you know.  Here we are still working away, but almost done at this point.

Done!  I forgot to take a shot of when they were done, so this is the only one I have.  Just so you know, this isn't the only sheet of them, I did about four or five big ones besides these.

The Cookie:  Yields about 5-6 doz.
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. powdered sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1 box Nillia wafers 
20 oz. chocolate

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl and put into a piping bag with a round tip.  Lay out all of the cookies in a flat layer and pipe about a 1/2 t. of the peanut mixture in each one.  Dip each cookie into the melted chocolate and let them set up in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!