Friday, September 17, 2010

Makin' Whoopie... Pies That is!

This is a cookie my mom used to make, but they called them Gobs.  Did your mom call them that?  I'm not sure where that name came from, but I think Little Debbie must have renamed them to Whoopie Pies.  Anyway, I love the way this recipe turned out, but next time, I'm adding a flavor to the center... like maybe peanut butter.  MMMM... that sounds good to me.  Or maybe some peppermint flavoring. These are much like them originals my mom used to make.

This recipe is adapted from Bakerella's recipe.  I only changed it a bit, but I love dark chocolate, so I had to make them dark.  They are just like I remember them.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies - adapted from bakerella
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Hershey's unsweetened Special Dark cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugar with a mixer on low until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.

Add egg and vanilla and beat for two more minutes.  Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk and beat on low until incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour and milk and beat until combined.
One of my changes:   In order to make them all the same size,  I printed the circle template below and laid it under the parchment paper.  I filled a pastry bag with the tip cut off with the batter.  I then started from the outside of each circle and swirled in toward the center to create a perfect circle.  I then removed the template and baked as below.
OR....If you don't care about the shape/size, then follow the next step.
Using a tablespoon, drop batter on baking sheet two inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes each or until pies spring back when pressed gently. 

Remove from oven and cool for about five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

1 Tbsp of batter should make about 48 two-inch cakes or 24 pies.
2 Tbsp of batter should make about 30 four-inch cakes or 15 pies.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy. 

To assemble the whoopie pies:
Spread filling on flat side on one cooled cookie. Top it with a second cookie and press gently.


Here is the template.... Click on it to enlarge and fit to page print on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ninja Birthday Party Theme

My son's birthday party was today.  I had made the cute little cupcake wrappers and toppers from my previous post, but when I went to print them, I had run out of ink!  Yikes!  The toppers printed gray rather than black ink, so I cut them out anyway and traced the eyes with black pen.  Then I used my cupcake wrapper as a template and cut black ones out of black construction paper and wrapped them with red ribbon.  In a pinch, it worked.
I also made some oragami throwing stars to use as decorations (and weapons)...
Ninja swords on the chair backs lead to some great ninja battles.  I had to take the swords away eventually though because they were getting a little too serious!  The balls in the glass container on the table are actually gumballs from Party City!  Black, Silver and Pearl!
I sewed some headbands and put some Asian symbols on them.  Each boy wore one and then took them home with them.  Oh... and they were told to dress in their ninja-wear if they had any.  They all did!  The banner says (probably barely says) "Happy 10th Birthday Adorable Ninja Son"

Word of warning.... the ninja head toppers are flammable.  See that guy in the front?
Ninjas of many shapes and sizes came to the party.  Even my husband dressed up and surprised the boys with a sneak attack which happened in the blink of an eye.  He jumped over the couch while they were watching the presents being opened and stole one of the gifts and took off with it!  Lots of excitement!!! The boys didn't even hesitate and took off after him!  They were ninja warriors and rescued the stolen gift in mere moments!  It all happened so fast I couldn't even get a picture!  With all of the cameras in the room, you would think someone could have, but no one did!

Oh... and yes, we had pizza at the party.  Pizza is Ninja food according to my son's t-shirt.

The weather stunk... so no better day for a party indoors!   
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