Monday, February 12, 2007

Bake sale round-up...

Jeff came home on Friday and asked if we could make something for a bake sale his office is having for a March of Dimes event. We had a few ideas in mind after thinking about it and decided to make one new recipe along with a classic bake sale treat that we decided to put our touch on.

The new recipe, Chocolate Whoopie Pies, is one that I have been waiting for an excuse like this to make. These individual stacked cakes would be considered a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch treat and are pretty common in the north-east. Instead of baking the rich chocolate batter on a baking sheet, I thought it would be fun to play around and try them out in the hamburger bun pan.

The cakes baked into smooth perfect round circles and had little feet on the bottom (kind of like a muffin top). I used a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the batter, so they were not so big that they would be hard to eat - it was also a good size to fill out the wells in the pan. To assemble the sandwich, we made a sweet frosting that uses marshmallow fluff to give it an ultra-creamy feeling. We each snuck a bite from one last night after we put them together and were a little taken aback with how good they were - however, we decided to wait until today to finish it to find they had developed a fantastic complex flavor. Ugh... why didn't we save more than 1?! We are so making these in a pumpkin version for the fall!

What could be more classic for a bake sale than Rice Krispie treats? Though, we did have to put our own touch to them and hopefully give them an edge in the eye candy department. We used the new Rice Krispies with Strawberries bits in them and also found they have new strawberry flavored (albeit of the artificial variety) marshmallows which gave the treats a beautiful pink hue. I used a large (about 4") heart-shaped cookie cutter and got about 7 punched out from a regular batch. For an added flare, we decided to drizzle the top of each with a little melted dark chocolate. Not too sweet, chewy and a perfect fit with Valentine's Day just around the corner.

I knew ahead of time I was going to have a pretty busy day tonight and made sure to plan for a super quick dinner for tonight. Since we are on the beginning edge of a big mess from a winter storm that could be ice, snow or rain (go weather forecasters!), I went the warming soup route and made a recipe for Tortilla and Tomato Soup that was on the table in no time. Nothing too special in the preparation - onions, garlic, a couple cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, vegetable broth and corn tortillas are brought to a boil and left to simmer until the tortillas break up into the soup. Fresh cilantro and a couple shots of cayenne pepper are stirred in just before serving to freshen and add just a touch of heat - I did think it could have used a bit more, or maybe tossing in a few crushed red pepper flakes into the mix. For a little pizazz, soft goat cheese and sour cream are mixed together to create a pungent and tangy drizzle (or dollop) on top. Remember I said I had an idea for the leftover hummus cakes from yesterday? They made for a tasty surprise in the bottom of each bowl!


  1. I...LOVE...Whoopie Pies!!!

    Mom would make them when we were kids. Even today, when I happen to see them at a bakery or Farmer's Market, I have to buy one.

  2. I love Whoopie Pies too. Ah the chocolate and the fluffy filling. OK let's just say I'd walk across the midwest to have one of those with my coffee right now!

  3. Whoopie pies are fabulous. I am always amazed when people are unfamiliar with whoopie pies, which I find often when baking them. I tried them using gingerbread (cake)this Christmas and was thrilled with the end product. Yummy!

  4. Biscuit Girl's Mom here - Indeed I made them for my three children and they were always a BIG hit. I might just make some in the next few days "just because!"

  5. I love the idea of using the hamburger bun pan. I have been using a cookie sheet and i dont like how they spread. How high did you fill each indentation? Also, where did you find that pan? Thanks!


  6. Everytime I come here I find my mouth watering! Today is no different!!

  7. Barbara - I have not run across them yet, but apparently they are all over up here at the Markets... I will have to keep my eye out when they start to re-open!

    Chris - hee hee! Wish we could have sent you one!

    Chris #2 - Oh my, I bet gingerbread would be fantastic!

    Mary Ann - Just because is reason enough for me!

    Kelly - I got the pan from King Arthur Flour's Baker's Catalog - I just used my 3 tablespoon cookie scoop and they filled out as they baked.

    Rachel - Thanks!