Saturday, June 28, 2014

Banana Whoopie Pies

"Whoopie Pie"- strange name for a dessert- or anything for that matter. The word whoopie reminds me of either:
Whoopie Goldberg  

                                     or the "whoopie cushion" 

But whoopie, in this case, means pies(or cookies or cakes or cookie cakes- whichever suits your description). The official definition of a whoopie pie according to Wikipedia:

The whoopie pie (alternatively called a black moon, gob (term indigenous to the Pittsburgh region), black-and-white, bob, or "BFO" for Big Fat Oreo. (Also recorded as "Devel Dogs," and "Twins" in 1835[1]) is a US baked good that may be considered either a cookie, pie, or cake. It is made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, or sometimes pumpkin or gingerbread cake, with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them.[2]

There is a lot of controversy as to the true origin and history of the whoopie pie, but whatever the case is, the basic whoopie pie has been developed into a variety of flavors and combinations. 
I love the texture of the soft cake but in a cookie form. 
The recipe here calls for a swiss meringue chocolate filling, which I'm sure is delicious. I had so many fillings and frosting leftover from previous projects that I decided to combine a few and use that instead. I ended up with a vanilla-cinnamon filling that worked beautifully with the lightly banana flavored cake. I also reduced the amount of bananas in the recipe since I didn't want an overwhelming banana bread taste. It all worked really well.

Nice and puffy like they should be
not the epitome of elegance- but damn good!
the lone leftovers (consumed shortly after this was taken!)

I loved the fact that these were easy to make, quick and didn't even need a mixer! Yay, less to wash!
Give these a try- you can find the recipe at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

"Potchky" is a Yiddish word I heard as a kid. I don't know if this is the correct meaning, but in my house, it referred to something that required a lot of small steps and fussing around to make. These cookies were a lot of  "potchkying" but worth every little second.
I made them for one of the many desserts for my granddaughter's 4th birthday and they went over really big! More with adults than children( this is the cake i made for the kiddies), but well received with the young ones as well.
The "potchkying" steps were making the dough, chilling, rolling into balls, dipping in egg whites, rolling in chopped pecans (had to toast them too, so that's another step), making a thumbprint indentation, after 8 minutes in the oven, making the indentation again, baking another 4 minutes, removing from the oven and making the last thumbprint impression to hold the filling. More "potchkying"- make the caramel filling, fill the thumbprint and top with a whole, roasted (another step!) pecan on each.
It may sound like I'm complaining, but understand- I'm not. I love the whole process. It's just not the same as mixing a batter, pouring into a pan and shoving in the oven. These babies require a bit extra attention and TLC, but are exquisite when done. Worth every second of effort!
You can find the recipe here, at Baked Sunday Mornings! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 I made this cake ahead of time since I knew I would be very busy for the few days before it was to be posted. Froze it; took it out this afternoon to thaw and make the glaze fresh tomorrow morning and shoot the pictures. Sitting out on the porch, surfing the net and suddenly I see him with a piece of cake in his hand ( a piece? more like half the frickin cake!) and mouth stuffed with his first bite. SCREAM!!!! What are you doing, who told you you could eat that? It's not ready, I haven't taken any photos yet.....scream again ( mainly out of complete and utter frustration). 
Calm down, relax, keep your cool ( after I screamed of course). At least he gave me something to write about.  Look at the glass half full- not half empty. There is always a positive side to things. Not the end of the world , I know, but frustrated and amazed at how something like that can go over someone's head; or through it; or around it- whatever.
the evidence- at least you can see the beautiful poppy seed filling lacing through the cake!
Anyhoo- on with the task. This cake is wonderful for afternoon tea (coffee) or a light after dinner dessert. I love the fragrant hint of orange , both in the cake and glaze. Worth the effort for sure!

You can find the recipe here, at Baked Sunday Mornings.
Some exciting news for Baked fans- Matt and Renato are coming out with their fourth book!
It promises to be as amazing as the previous three. I already have it on pre-order from Amazon and can't wait!
Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations
Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations