Carrot-Cake Whoopie Pies

carrot cake whoopie piesCarrot cake finger food. Does it get any better than that. This little hand pie is so easy to eat and super yummy. No fork, knife, or plate required. I made these from a carrot cake recipe that I have made throughout the years and all I needed to do was make a few changes. These are so good that the first time I made them, my husband Brian told me if I entered these in a contest they would win. So, here they are and just to let you know, they taste better on day two and three. Most other whoopie pies get stale as the days progress, not these. But, I guarantee they will not make it to day three.

You will need…
Free standing mixer with paddle attachment
or large bowl a hand mixer
whoopie pie pan or a cookie sheet
spray oil
ice cream scoop
parchment or wax paper
spatula
preheated oven at 350 degrees

Cake:
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. oil (I use melted coconut)
4 eggs beaten
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. finely grated/shredded carrots

mix all ingredients together until evenly mixed. Scoop with ice cream scoop onto a greased whoopee pie pan, bake at 350 degrees, 9-10 minutes or until done. Remove from pan immediately and cool on parchment paper.

Filling:
8 oz cream cheese room temp
1 stick of soft butter (not melted)
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. coconut (I use desiccated, but any will work)
1 tsp vanilla
3 c. confectionery sugar
beat all together, the ingredients will come together, add 1 tbsp of cream if necessary

When cakes are completely cooled, fill and eat.

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

Italian Ricotta CheesecakeCheesecake is the one dessert that gets the most favorable responses from people. They are so visually appealing. But, then they are so creamy, sweet and delicious, its like a big hug when you bite into a rich piece of cheesecake. I guess you could say it is the ultimate comfort food. I first saw a picture of this on Pinterest and knew someday I would need to make it, and when I say “make it” most of you know I mean, make it my own way. Great idea and so pretty! This one is perfect for Christmas with green pistachios and red raspberries. The base cheesecake can be used for so many different cheesecakes. You can add any flavor you want to the cheesecake, almond extract would be great, or banana, or ginger or just plain vanilla. The crust can be chocolate graham crumbs, oreos, or ginger snaps, nutty or shortbready. The possibilities are endless so go create something!

Crust
10″ springform pan ~ buttered pan
Preheat oven to 300 degrees

1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. Butter melted
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
mix well and press into buttered springform pan
wrap the bottom of the spring-form pan in two layers of foil and set aside

Filling

1 c. ricotta cheese
3- 8oz. pkg of cream cheese (room temp)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 heaping tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 vanilla bean split open and scraped of the seeds
5 eggs
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Beat cheeses, sugar, salt, and flour on med speed with an electric mixer, add vanilla and vanilla bean, add eggs 1 at a time, add sour cream and lemon. When fully mixed add to the springform pan crust.

Place a pan on the bottom rack with 2 inches of boiling water in your preheated 300 degree oven. Place the Cheesecake on the rack above the water and bake for 70 to 80 minutes. A good rule of thumb when a cheesecake is fully cooked, is the center will be level with the edges, not concave. When the center is puffed it is usually done. If it splits in the middle, don’t fret, it’s okay. All the toppings will cover any cracks, besides that’s the sign of a homemade cheesecake. When it’s done, do not remove the cake from the oven, just turn off the oven and crack the door a bit, leave it until fully cooled. At this point you may, leave it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving.

Sides of the cheesecake can be embellished with whatever you love, this cheesecake has pistachios. Any chopped nut or mini chocolate chips, or crushed cookies or candy will work. I used an apricot jam, spread on the cake with a butter knife, and then added the chopped pistachios. The topping I used was fresh raspberries, however, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries, or any fruit you like will work. It took about 3 half pints of berries.

I also had a fresh seedless raspberry glaze on hand that I put below the raspberries…
Have fun and Enjoy!

Aiden’s Birthday Cupcakes

birthday cupcakes

 

Recently, my nephew Aiden had a birthday and His mom asked if I was interested in making his cupcakes. I was very flattered that she asked and excited to do it. Aiden’s favorite cupcake is chocolate, so thats what I made with a marshmallow buttercream. They were really yummy!

 

Cupcakes

1 box of dark chocolate cake mix
made into cupcakes, per recipe on box

1 recipe of buttercream frosting
1 small container of fluff
whip fluff into the buttercream frosting

assorted candy
decorate
candles
Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chip Whoopie Pies

pumpkin whoopie

 

 

 

These are phenomenal. Super moist and very tasty. I got this recipe from Pinterest and, of course, I tweaked the recipe a tiny bit. Loved the cake, just added the miniature chocolate chips. The filling was too cream cheesy so, I reverted back to my filling from my whoopie pies and added half the cream cheese. They turned out very well. My
mom who says she hates whoopie pies loved them.

Pumpkin Chip Whoopie Pies
Original recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Preheat oven to 350 ~ Bake 10-14 minutes~ makes approx. 20

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 c. oil
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
3 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level with a knife. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, white sugar, and oil. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in chips! Using a standard size ice cream scoop, drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-14 minutes. Cool and fill.

Cream Cheese Filling

4 oz. cream cheese
4 c. Powdered sugar
1/2 c. Shortening
1 tbsp vanilla
2 egg whites

To a bowl add the egg whites, beat until frothy 30 seconds, add vanilla, shortening, cream cheese and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add 1 cup at a time of sugar until fully incorporated. Fill the pies.

pumpkin whoopie dozen

Whoopie Pies

whoopieEverybody loves a good whoopie pie. I’ve recently started branching out from the usual suspects, chocolate cake with white filling. There are so many things you can do to really spice them up. I have been making the same recipe for 30 years. That just sounds so wrong, that I could possibly be old enough to be doing anything for 30 years. When I began experimenting with recipes, I could not find one that Brian and I liked. So after many trials, I found the correct creme filling and the the right cake and two recipes became one. The filling has eggwhites in it, so when ever you make a recipe that calls for egg yolks, always save your whites, because this is one of those recipes you get to use them up in. You can spread just about anything on the cake before filling, or swirl whatever you like into the creme filling. Personally, I like the plain ones best, but I love making a variety of different pies on a platter. You always get the ooos and ahhhs when you walk in with the most enticing tray of pretty sweets. Use your imagination, and create a masterpiece. Rolling the edges in something creates a pleasing look. I rolled the edge of the peanut butter filled ones in chopped reese’s cups for a more dramatic presentation. This week I made raspberry filled, peanut butter filled, and plain.  As well as pumpkin chip cream cheese whoopie pies, which I will post next.

Whoopie Pies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 6-8 minutes makes 10 large

Cream with electric mixer or kitchen aid mixer
1/3 cup shortening
1 c. Sugar
In a separate bowl
1 c. Warm milk
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp vanilla
Mix well and add to the sugar and shortening, while mixer is on.
Add:
1 egg
1 tbsp oil

In a separate bowl
2 c. Flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Add 1/2 c. at a time to the mixture until all incorporated. Do not over mix.
Scoop with an ice cream scoop onto ungreased cookie sheet, cool and fill.

Creme filling

4 c. Powdered sugar
1/2 c. Shortening
1 tbsp vanilla
2 egg whites

To a bowl add the egg whites, beat until frothy 30 seconds, add vanilla, shortening and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add 1 cup at a time of sugar until fully incorporated. If you desire to make a flavored filling, add it now or divide your filling up and make different flavors.

Heart shaped Almond-glazed, lemon poundcake with raspberry filling! ♥ ♥

IMG_0391

 

Lemon, Raspberry, and Almond, simply make me happy. This little delight was made with a poundcake mix. The recipe on the box is all you need to follow, just omit 1/3 c. of water and squeeze 1/3 cup of lemon in it’s place. I happen to have mini heart shaped pans, so I baked these in honor of St. Valentines Day. I sliced them in two layers and used Cascadian Farms Raspberry Spread in between. Made an almond glaze for the top and that was it. I also, used some of the batter to make a mini bread loaf pan, and followed the same process. Super easy, and super delicious.

Glaze
1 c. confectionery sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp almond flavoring

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cake

This cake was on the menu at T.J.’s, ummmmm 100% of the time. Customers would actually get mad at me, when we ran out. Haha, I never took it personally, it was a compliment. It started out as a scratch cake, but it became soo much easier to use a box, that’s where it ended up. I’m not ashamed to say that either. Most box cakes are very moist and delicious. If homemade doesn’t shine brighter than the others, than there is no reason to work harder. I always make my cakes in two round pans. I love the look of a round high cake. It can be made into cupcakes too.These days there are so many pans in new mini shapes and sizes for baking. I have to admit every time I see a new shape, I have to buy it. There is just something about a miniature sized food that is so delightful.

reeses cake

Bake your cake according to the directions on the box and cool completely. I like to line the bottom of my cake pans with a piece of parchment and butter the sides for easy removal. For this cake the darker the chocolate cake the better.

Peanut butter frosting

4 heaping tablespoons peanut butter. (Crunchy or smooth)
1 stick of sweet cream salted butter room temperature.
Beat until creamy
Add 3 cups confectionery sugar
4 oz. cream cheese
Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of heavy cream
Beat until fluffy and spreadable consistency.
Frost the cake, while the frosting is still fresh, top with chopped Reese’s cups. Usually 8 regular size cups will cover the top of the cake. Serve immediately. Serves 12

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

We sold a lot of desserts at T.J.s restaurant, and Carrot Cake was on the menu about 80% of the time. This was a recipe we got from a friend prior to opening. We had made it for years and it was a no brainer that this would be, the go to recipe. I have often thought about additions to the recipe, like crushed pineapple, mashed bananas, raisins, or craisins. I never added them because I was pretty happy with the recipe as is. Feel free to add anything you like. Enjoy!
carrot cake

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

350 degrees. 40-45 min.

3 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 c. Vegetable oil
2 c. Sugar
4 eggs
beat all the wet ingredients and then add all the dry ingredients
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 c. flour

Beat with electric mixer or use a kitchen aid mixer. In two 9″ round cake pans, place a circle of parchment paper in bottom. Grease only the sides. Divide the batter evenly in the pans and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely.

Coconut pecan cream cheese frosting
8 oz. cream cheese (room temp)
3 oz. crisco
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. Chopped pecans plus additional for sides
1/2 c. Bakers coconut plus additional for top
3 c. Confectionery sugar
Put all ingredients in the bowl and beat with electric mixer. Add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream or milk until the consistency is spreadable.
Frost cake and decorate sides and top with nuts and coconut.