Cookies, Birthday Cupcakes and Whoopie Pies!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, I’m sorry! I’ve really been swamped with school work the past couple of weeks. I have managed to squeeze in some baking here and there but haven’t had a chance to blog about it.

First: I was home a couple of weeks ago and my mom bought all the ingredients for oatmeal cookies in hopes that I would make them for her. When she initially asked I was trying to study for midterms and snapped at her for requesting such a thing. Then I realized, what’s the point of all this baking if I can’t find time to make my own mother dearest some cookies? I made these oatmeal raisin cookies but decided to try out a new recipe. While I enjoyed the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made previously, they tasted more like chocolate chip cookies than oatmeal cookies. I got the recipe for these ones at SmittenKitchen. I love her blog and have some serious blog envy, maybe one day when I actually find time to post my blog will be half as good!

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Smitten Kitchen taught me the trick to getting a really thick, chewy cookie is to chill the dough before you bake it! Definitely worked for these cookies 😉

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins (I only had yellow raisins on hand, which is why you can’t really see them in these cookies!)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional, I didn’t use them)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

For best results at this point you should  chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them.

post fridge time..

The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes,  taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

YUM… try these! 

After these cookies I took a break for midterms and finally returned to baking life in time for my good friend Annie’s birthday. Her and her husband are leaving us all for Michigan this sumer 😦 . I wanted her birthday this year to be extra special, and had to bake some special treats for it. Annie LOVES frosting, although you would never be able to tell from her supermodel figure. For her birthday party I made cupcakes, whoopie pies, and cheese straws.

CONFESSION: a lot of this came out of the box. I was exhausted. Poor from just having paid my rent. and super lazy. I promise to try not to do this in the future!

First I made red velvet Whoopie Pies. I’ve never had a whoopie pie so I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, or if I was even going to like the result. Turns out….I LOVE WHOOPIE PIES. they are like cupcake meets cookie. And we all know I’m a fan of both of those things!!!

I learned that you can make whoopie pies from boxed cake mix with a few additional steps, so I opted to use the red velvet cake mix I had in my pantry. Honestly, in the future I think I’d use cake mix again, whoopie pies are a little labor and time intensive so this was a nice shortcut.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie – cakes Recipe via Sand & Sisal:

  • 1box of Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake mix
  • 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup flour
  • Combine and mix with an electric mixer for 2 min.

  • spoon onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.

  • Bake for 8-10 minutes in a pre-heated 400 degree oven.
  • Tip: mounding teaspoon sized batter drops onto the sheetwill result in puffier whoopies!

    Now time to make the frosting:

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie- frosting filling again via Sand & Sisal

****This frosting was REALLY good, I highly recommend it if you are going to try this

  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 Tbl flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Directions: In a small sauce pan slowly combine half the milk and flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add remaining milk, turn heat on medium and constantly whisk until it thickens and looks like wallpaper paste. Allow to completely cool ( I had no idea what wallpaper paste looked like, and right as I was about to call or google for help, it turned into this thick paste…you’ll know it when you see it!)
  • Cream butter & sugar mixer and add the flour paste. Beat until fluffy

I used a piping bag, and a round piping tip to assemble the whoopies:

I had some of this frosting left over, and since I hate wasting I used it on some of the cupcakes. I’m glad I did because they came out so cute!!

The rest of the cupcakes I frosted with store bought chocolate frosting…I ate a lot of frosting during the course of this day…:)

Finally, I made cheese straws for our annie’s wine and cheese birthday party. These are really simple to make:

Ingredients:

Puff pastry, Shredded Mozzarella cheese, Grated Parmesean, and whatever dried herbs you have/want to use.

First I combined the shredded cheese and herbs in a bowl, then sprinkled some of this mixture on a clean countertop.

Then roll out the puff pastry on top, pressing down so that the cheese and herbs on the counter stick to the bottom, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese and herbs on top, and slice into one inch strips:

Then separate the slices…and twist:

Place the twists on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-ish minutes at 350.

I served these sticking out from a big metal cup :

Easy, delicious appetizer to go with some wine and cheese.

Happy birthday Annie!

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