Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Whoopie Pies Back to Your Table

A whoopie pie is a sweet baked foodie which is almost like a soft biscuit, a cake and a pie. It is made up of two round pieces of cake-like biscuits or softer cookies which are put together with a sweet, creamy filling. For fun, whoopie pies are also called gobs, hucklebucks, and BFOs, the big fat Oreos!
Yummy Whoopie Pie
If you enjoy delicious soft mocha pies, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t try much smaller whoopie pies served with afternoon tea. Traditionally, the cake part is made with the same old cocoa powder with brown sugar giving it a dark brown look, while the filling is a light and fluffy, marshmallow crème oftentimes flavored with vanilla.

Before the birth of whoopie pies, cupcakes were the same classic favorite for teatime. You will notice that a whoopie recipe is so similar as to making a cupcake, making them the cakey cousins of traditional cupcakes. If not with the added ingredients and flavorings into the batter and the filling itself, whoopies would have been the same cupcakes we used to know.

The Original Maine Whoopie Pie Since 1925



Modern whoopie pies already come in flavorful toppings of a glace icing, piped cream, chocolate vermicelli, jelly tots, festive colored jams, and many others. As cousins, whoopie has also continued to come out great with anything used to decorate the top of a cupcake. Truly cousins!
A whoppie pie today - By Flutterby Bakery


Making your Whoopie Pie

Even kids will enjoy this! Generously spread the flat side of a cold cake or soft biscuit with a filling. Place another cake/biscuit on top of the filling (to make a sandwich) then gently press both halves together to secure the sandwich. Make sure to put a generous filling so it forms a deep, rich and mouth-watering layer in between. This makes the most delicious whoopie pies.

For a Traditional Whoopie Pie Filling

Whisk together eggs, castor sugar, honey, vanilla and water in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, then whisk until the mixture is thick, creamy and can stand in peaks. Remove from heat and whisk for another minute to slowly cool. Fill whoopie pies with the fluffy filling.

The Basic Glace Icing  
  
Mix confectioners sugar with a very little water and stir until smooth. Be careful with adding water to avoid making a too runny mixture. Spread a generous amount over the tops of whoopie pies. You can add flavorings the icing mixture like lemon, orange, mint, vanilla or coffee, or sprinkle the icing with chocolate vermicelli, or small sweets and allow to set on the whoopie pie. 

Today, you can still enjoy old original baked chocolate whoopie pies with a taste back in 1925.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bread Pudding - Still a Wonderful Afterschool Snack

Country Living with Chocolate Pudding

Pudding remains a delicious after school snack food. It's been my life. Since I grew up eating pudding bread almost everyday (twice a week to be exact ), as my mother enjoys making them and we're skilled at making them disappear- a great team as far as I'm concerned!

She would soak pieces of bread (often leftover and almost stale bread) in a mixture of milk, sugar and eggs and leave it to soak for more than an hour.  Being a kitchen scientist herself (fond of making her own experiments :)) she would many times mix in lots of fruits, she believe could eliminate sugar in the pudding. Sometimes its a chocolate pudding with nuts or grated coconut, sometimes it's plain bread pudding! It was sort of fun getting different tasty bread puddings once in a while.

This modern lemon and passion fruit pudding with a dessert sauce over the top (which you can coat on before baking) will surprise everyone. I've made this and the heated sweet sauce which I put on top of the pudding while still very hot just turns out the bread even more delicious. Your kids will love the divine sweetness and blend of lemon and passion fruit.


Ingredients


  • - 60 grams butter
  • - 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • - 2 eggs, separated
  • - 1 large lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
  • - 2 tablespoons passion fruit pulp, juiced
  • - 1 cup milk
  • - 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • - confectioner's sugar
  • - a few raisins, if desired

Directions


Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a deep, 15cm x 23cm, or 6-cup capacity baking pan. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well. Stir in lemon rind, lemon juice, passion fruit, milk and raisins. Sift flour over mixture and stir until combined well.


Beat egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form. Using a hand whisk is still the best. Fold into passion fruit mixture. Pour the batter into the baking pan then place pan in a larger baking pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan so it comes halfway up sides of dish. Bake, uncovered for 45 minutes or until pudding is just firm on top and light golden.


Remove the pan with pudding and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle hot pudding with icing sugar, or a dessert sauce and serve. Pair it with a hot cup of chocolate.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Never-Ending Story of a Traditional Cookie - A Reason to Smile


Have you ever wondered why traditional cookie recipes remain heartwarming? I still find old mounds of sugary and peanut butter cookies very addicting. Perhaps its the  time-tested vintage taste that will have you reminiscing back to earlier days?

When I was a kid, making sugar cookies were one of my mother's masterpieces. She had an old recipe from my grandmother. The cookie recipe was not easy to make and I just loved helping her make the dough. Since cookies were among her most selling baked-good at her Holiday Bakery (after her puddings), I enjoyed times when I help rolling out the dough and cut them out using our small supply of holiday cookie cutters. I loved decorating them with icing. She showed me how to deal with the simple tasks of making  cookies and baking cakes.

Over the years, I learned making prettier sugar cookies with mom. I even took pre-baked cookies in school and made fun cookie decorating messes with a few classmates after classes. Once, I was amazed the neighbor children to return my plate, empty, within just minutes of having sent it over. I never in my wildest dreams imagined making delicious cookies at age 12. I never expected to inherit my grandmother's arm strength to beat the egg whites stiff by hand using an old-fashioned whisk (I prefer using my father's hand-made whisk). A method that I am still good at today (thanks to my small arms!)

Those cookies were simply that good and I've never considered trying another recipe. It's maybe the reason why I feel nostalgic every time I style mom's old-fashioned cookie recipe into modern dreidels. I long for her every time I ponder upon Pillsbury bake-offs remembering her sweating as she wrestled with the heavy antique irons over an open flame on the stove.
Filipino Meringue Cookies (Pasencia) by Apple Pie, Patis & Pate

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cookies - A  photo from Mommy's Kitchen
Traditional Shortbread Cookies - Photo by Addie's Pantry

Old Peanut Butter Cookies - Photo by Delicious Dishes

Even with the popularity of Splenda today, a lot of people still use the classic brown sugar and wheat pastry flour in place of modern flour. It's also awesome that oatmeal is still remembered a great substitute to contemporary dried ingredients. Tradition still reigns!

Oatmeal still a great substitute to contemporary dried ingredients


A Splenda cookie today

The unforgettable tradition of brown sugar cookies 
Historical Pillsbury 



The flour that keeps melting my heart
If you are like me, then you know why traditional cookie recipes are as delicious as they sound. They are a great thing to make with kids today if you have any little hands eager to help in making them. Today, every time I see my mother's time-aged cookie book, I remember that time in our lives when she was still around... and like always, I quietly would celebrate that cookie memories that have put the best colors to our lives.

At the corner of my heart, I know that there will never be other memorable-tasting cookies to beat hers. Not for anything else but because it carries the love of the traditional sugar cookie recipe we used to know- from mom.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Sweet Cookie History


Sometimes I feel like wanting to make some sugary delights. Then I would look at the ingredients I have on hand which would be mostly flour, eggs, oil, sugar, pecans, almonds, nuts,  honey, peanut butter and jam. But like always, I would wonder if there's anything I can make to make cookie yummier and crunchier from any one of the cookie recipes I have, and often times I would end up with the same butter old fashioned  cookie that I love. Not bad anyway.

People enjoy eating cookies, some even eat them on a daily basis, but have you ever wondered just who came up with the first cookie recipe?  The first cookies in history were said to be nothing more than miniature cakes used to test oven temperatures before the baker cooked the final cake.  These miniature cakes were called "koekje" which means little cookie in Dutch.  As time went by "koekje" morphed into the word we recognize today as cookie. Even a cookie history sounds as delicious as it is! 


Early cookies were known as tea cakes to Americans since some of them were derived from the English tea cakes.  The
shortbread cookies resemble the Scottish shortbreads of early history.  It makes no difference where they came from, but rest assured every country has a favorite cookie recipe of its own.  For Americans and Canadians, the cookie recipe of choice is Chocolate chip cookies, the cookie recipe which young and old today still so crave about, but if you look around, traditional oatmeal cookie recipe is still the most favorite.




 

Probably the most famous cookie of all is the gingerbread. It was said that during the times of the Holy Crusades, gingerbreads were thought to have existed but in a different shape than what it is today (can you picture how big-men crusaders carrying these smiling little men!?). 

Even the thought of it makes us smile! See how cookies remain sweet any time? This was the time when spices and sugars were brought to Europe by the Crusaders, but it wasn’t until the time of Queen Victoria that the gingerbread became strongly associated with Christmas.



Monday, October 25, 2010

Dazzling Sugar Cookies For Mom on Christmas

It starts to smell Christmas! 
Have you been thinking of getting your Mom something new, something unique, and something sweeter this year? Perhaps a dazzling sugar cookie?

Sugar Cookies for Your Mom

Ingredients:

- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups margarine
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 cups flour

Directions:

Cream the first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix together all remaining dry ingredients and combine with the creamed mixture. Put in enough flour to handle dough. Roll cookies out on floured board or flat surface, and cut with a cookie cutter. Bake 350 or 375 degrees for 10 minutes, or when the outside edges have turned light or golden brown.
If you're making her a flower bouquet:


It is ideal to use flower-shaped cookie cutters in cutting your cookies. Roll ½ inch cookie dough, or a dough that is solid enough to lodge popsicle, or lollipop sticks. Carefully insert stick into each cookie. If your cookie is extra thick, you may need to bake an extra minute because of the thicker dough. Watch closely while baking.

When cookies are done baking, allow them to completely cool on a wire rack. When cookies have cooled, start mixing cookie icing and frost your cookies. You can use different colors in your frost for a festive-looking cookie bouquet. Royal icing is a good choice because it holds up very well. You can even drop royal icing right where the stick enters the cookie to make sure the stick holds onto the cookie. For piping decorations, prepare small parchment cones with a decorating tip for each color, it’s faster and less messy. You can also use a decorator icing and think of any design for your cookie.


When the cookies are set, wrap them in clear cellophane bags and tie a ribbon bow around each cookie.  Arrange your pops in a little basket, mini pail, decorative box or pot, with styrofoam at the bottom to hold cookies. This is the time you can design your bouquet all you can! You can insert candies in between cookie gaps, or colorful lollipops to look like miniature balloons in the bouquet. You can think of any Christmas frosting design, colors and shapes for your cookies. The possibilities are endless.

Image by Flickr
Sugar cookies for a cookie bouquet can be fun to bake and decorate. Colorful and dazzling as they are, they can look fabulous when hung with glitters all over the Christmas tree! So this Christmas, why not add a little magic to your Mom's holiday bites with fancy sugar cookies!



Have a sugar-filled season!