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Let’s Make WHOOPIE!

16 Aug

Whoopie pies, that is! Haha….couldn’t resist the title! 

The stars started to align a few months ago for me to make these when I experimented with an oatmeal cookie recipe. I started from scratch and took a few guesses with the measurements. Well, after a few months of experimenting, I finally got my delicious, soft and chewy oatmeal cookies down! Man are oatmeal cookies good! They are some of our favorites!

They really are delicious on their own, but I wanted to shake things up. So I went a little crazy and filled these babies with cream cheese filling….thus creating the super awesome over the top whoopie pie.

These cookies have got it all! Soft, sweet, chewy and a slight tang from the filling! I love them cold and they taste even better than the store bought oatmeal cream pies (sorry little debbie!) I might even go as far as to say that they are healthier! And by healthy I mean no crazy unpronounceable preservatives. Ok, healthy is NOT a good word to describe these, but man are they tasty!

Just like making regular cookies, you make your dough and bake them pan by pan. You let them cool a little and then remove them from off the baking sheet. Then you cool them completely and fill them chock full of fluffy cream cheese filling. It’s really an easy recipe but takes a little waiting time. So, if you have the patience, then dive right in. If you don’t, you can make the cookies today, store them in an airtight container and finish them tomorrow. OR (can you see where this is going?) you can make the cookie dough today, bake them tomorrow and fill them the next day. But, I’ll tell you right now the cookies won’t make it to day 3 because they really are that good and you WILL eat them all. Happy Baking, friends!

Oatmeal Cream Whoopie Pies
yield: 48 cookies, 24 pies

for the cookies-
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg (optional)
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
(1 cup chocolate chips if you like!)

for the filling-
1-8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cream
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray light colored baking sheet (*see recipe tips) with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In large bowl, cream margarine, shortening and sugars together until light and creamy. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl and whip 1-2 minutes until light in color. Stir in remaining ingredients until well incorporated. Scoop small balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes until cookies aren’t shiny anymore and they look slightly underdone. Cool 3-4 minutes on baking sheet and then remove to waxed paper (*see recipe tips) to cool completely.

For the filling, whip cream cheese with vanilla, cream and salt until smooth. Slowly whip powdered sugar into cream cheese until all combined and smooth. Scrap down the sides and whip again.

To assemble, take 1 oatmeal cookie and spread 1-2 tablespoons of filling across the bottom evenly. Top with another cookie. Repeat until all cookies are filled.

Recipe TIPS
-I use a lighter colored baking sheet because the bottoms don’t brown as quickly or become as hard as they would using a non stick sheet.
-I like to put my cookies on waxed paper because it somehow keeps the cookies really soft.
-If you are planning on assembling the cookies at a later date after they have been cooked, place them gently into an airtight container while the cookies are luke warm–this will keep them moist until you’re ready to use them!


Citrus Cream Cheese Pull-Apart Rolls

20 Jul
Today’s recipe comes to us from the wonderful Barbara from I emailed her a few weeks back about doing a recipe swap because I love trying new recipes and blogging about them! After she agreed to do it with me, the search was on. I browsed her site for at least two hours trying to find the perfect recipe! Well, jokes on me because they are all awesome! After narrowing it down and getting Barbara’s input, I decided to make her Citrus Cream Cheese Pull-Apart Rolls. 
These little devils are so tasty it’s ridiculous! After tasting these, I totally understood why these turned into a tradition over at Barbara’s house! These pull-aparts are just the right amount of chewy, sweet and tang. I love a good sweet bread, but you probably already knew that. I also love baking with citrus because it makes the whole kitchen smell clean and fresh! If you take a look at the ingredients list, it’s really just a lot of easy to find plain jane things. But then you put them all together and magic happens. And then you continue to eat the entire pan two or three more!

Here’s an interesting/out of place/random/get to know Lo fact: I prefer citrus and/or vanilla over anything chocolate (much to my husband’s dismay). I still really like chocolate, but just not as much as lemon or orange… these rolls!

(Image courtesy of Barbara Bakes. Don’t these look so much better than mine? Barbara is a pro!)

Anyways, the process of making these is really REALLY simple. Most of the work is done for you if you use the frozen dinner rolls! Honestly, the hard part is waiting, but you’ll probably see what I mean. A few things you shouldn’t do would be to over bake these puppies. I kind of did, but they still turned out great. Also, I got sleepy and let my rolls rise too much which sort of threw the texture off slightly. But, even with these slight mishaps, they turned out beautifully! I brought them to a family dinner Sunday evening, meant to be eaten for dessert. Well my family couldn’t resist, and they ended up becoming the appetizers and the pan was devoured in 4 minutes flat! (And they ALL loved them! All 9 of them!)

So, thanks again Barbara for allowing me to share one of your delicious recipes! Your rolls are delicious and I love your site! Go check out her recipes and her post today where she tested my favorite sandwich! You’ll be glad you did! Happy eating, friends!

Citrus Cream Cheese Pull Apart Rolls 
From: Cooking Light Magazine, December 1999 via Barbara Bakes
Yield: 4 dozen 

1 package frozen roll dough — (25-ounce)
(I usually use 18 Rhodes rolls) 
Cooking spray
1/4 cup butter or margarine — melted
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries — (such as Craisins)
OR 1/2 cup dried apricots — chopped
1 cup granulated sugar — divided
2/3 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese — (6 ounces) softened (I usually just use 8 ounces) 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 cup powdered sugar
5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Thaw roll dough at room temperature 30 minutes. (It usually takes much longer for them to be soft enough to cut.)
Cut rolls in half. Place 24 halves, cut sides down, in bottom of each of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Brush butter evenly over rolls. Cover; let rise in a warm place (85º), free from drafts, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dried cranberries. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cream cheese, orange juice, and egg; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over rolls. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and rinds. Sprinkle evenly over rolls. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size. (It usually takes much longer to double in size.) 
Preheat oven to 350º.Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake an additional 5 mintues or until rolls in center are done. Remove from oven; cool 15 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over rolls.

OVERNIGHT VARIATION: After pouring the cream cheese mixture over rolls, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 hours. Gently remove plastic wrap from rolls; sprinkle with rind mixture. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. (It usually takes much longer to double in size.)Proceed with recipe as directed.

Per serving (two rolls): 174 Calories—->can you believe that? Amazing! 

Lime Sheet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

12 Jul

So, first things first–I didn’t die on my run! It was tough and really hot, but I finished it in my best time yet! I somehow managed to keep a pretty fast pace throughout and beat my previous time by 5 minutes! HOT DOG. The best part of this whole 24 hour quick trip was not just the run but the restaurants! Oh, how I miss fast food chain restaurants. Sonic onion rings and their diet cherry limeade are at the top of my list and I had them both after the race! The joys of running–eating really fattening foods with no guilt. Moving away to college to a small town with a lot of restaurants opened up my culinary world like never before. Hence the ‘freshman fifteen’ that happened in 2005 and me now being addicted to Sonic. It’s a good thing there aren’t any Sonic drive in’s nearby because I’d seriously have to kick up my training! Anyways, it was overall, a great experience!

Now, about this cake. It is perfect (and I repeat) PERFECT for summer. It’s light and fluffy but still slightly decadent because of the frosting. Ohhhhh the frosting…….I love cream cheese a lot more than your average joe, so I use it a lot……and by use I mean I tend to mix in some kind of chocolate and slather it over some cake. It’s kind of a problem. BUT, I’m being good and trying to only make one sweet treat a week because for a while there I was going over board (and my running was not keeping up with my ever growing waist line). And I realize there was a lot of random information in there that you probably didn’t care about. Oh well.

So this cake was our treat for the week and it was a good one. I made it a sheet cake because they take about half the time to bake and our apartment doesn’t have air conditioning. See where I’m going with this? I didn’t want the oven to be on very long because it’s hot enough as is. Hence the 12-15 minute bake time. If you wanted to make cupcakes or a thicker 9×13 cake, feel free to do so. I also used a cake mix to save time, but made it my own with the lime juice, zest and sour cream. Those ingredients really make it taste like its from scratch. Plus, odds are if the frosting is made from scratch, everyone will think the entire cake was too.

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of coconut lime cake recipes floating out there in cyber space, so I wanted to make one too. Except without the coconut because everyone I’ve talked to about this HATES coconut! Can you believe that? I love the stuff, but used my better judgement and omitted it for this cake so I wouldn’t have to eat the whole thing myself. Don’t think I didn’t think about it though. So, if you are a coconut lover, feel free to add a little in. It would add a nice touch.

Also, make sure you keep this cake in the fridge! The texture of the frosting is better cold, plus, there’s DAIRY in it so it belongs in chill chest. Ok? Ok! Now, lets get baking! And by the way, you can have this baked and frosted in under 30 minutes if you had a craving and really wanted to. 🙂

Lime Sheet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
yield: 12-18 servings

for the cake-
1 18.25 oz. box french vanilla cake mix (I used betty crocker)
1 cup cold water
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 limes, juiced and zested

for the frosting-
1 8 oz. package light cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted slowly in a double boiler or microwave
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease sheet pan with 1 tablespoon melted butter or non stick cooking spray. Set aside. In large bowl, combine all ingredients together until just mixed. Pour into prepared pan and smooth. Bake 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

For the frosting, whip all ingredients together until well combined and smooth. Scrape edges of bowl and whip again 1-2 minutes. Frost top of cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mother’s Day Recipe : Lemon Cream filled Crepes with Strawberries

8 May
Lemon Crepes with Strawberries, Jam and Mascarpone

Happy early Mother’s Day for all of my faithful followers and other friends that read my blog! I appreciate you guys so much and will show it in giveaways! I’m trying to get some together soon for you guys because I love ya! Really, I do!

So, onto a great recipe… oh man is this an awesome recipe for any day of the week, but making it for a Mother’s Day Breakfast in bed would be killer! You would knock it out of the park and get major brownie points for this one! You can’t tell from the picture, but for this breakfast you just make regular crepes and then fill them with this 5 minute lemon cream that is really simple to make. AND THEN, to win them over and impress their socks off, top them off with fresh strawberries! So delicious!

Lemon and strawberries make a great flavor combination but wrapping them all up in a crepe just brings it over the top.
By the way, you have my permission to eat the entire bowl of lemon cream on its own–its that good! YUM.

So, a quick update about us–finally Gordon comes home tonight from his ten day business trip! Hooray! And, we move into our new apartment tomorrow morning! It seems like it has been a long time coming, so we are just thrilled. I’ll have to give you more updates as the weekend progresses or something!
Lemon Cream filled Crepes with Strawberries
yield: 6 large servings
The crepe recipe is found HERE.
Lemon Cream Filling:
1 1/2 packages cream cheese, softened (12 ounces)
1 cup cold whipping cream
1 lemon zested
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lb. fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
In a stand mixer, whip cream cheese to soften. With mixer on low, stream in cream. Increase speed and whip 20-30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl and whip again. Stir in rest of ingredients and whip 2-3 minutes until thick and thoroughly combined. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Fill crepes with fresh strawberries and lemon cream.