The cool crisp air in November makes visiting a bakery or baking in your own home feel really nice and cozy. This weekend, turn on your oven and treat yourself to some chocolate and marshmallow whoopie pies:
Recipe reprinted from Winterberries and Apple Blossoms: Reflections and Flavors of a Mennonite Year by Nan Forler, paintings by Peter Etril Snyder
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups cocoa
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon milk
2 cups marshmallow cream
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Gradually melt the chocolate. Let it cool slightly.
Using a wooden spoon, cream butter and brown sugar together.
Add egg, vanilla extract, cooled chocolate, and buttermilk. Beat well, scraping sides and bottom of bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients.
Add dry ingredients to wet mixture gradually, mixing well.
Using a small scoop, drop batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the pies.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until tops crack slightly and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the pies cool completely before adding filling.
Using a wooden spoon or mixer, cream butter and sugar together.
Add vanilla extract and milk, blend in.
Add marshmallow cream and beat well.
Spread filling generously on the flat side of a whoopie pie. Place another half on top and gently press together.
Trick-or-Treat? Here at Tundra, we always prefer treats. To celebrate Halloween, I made some chocolate cinnamon sparkles cookies for my colleagues. The recipe is from The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz, a culinary mystery for ages 8-11.
Take a dash of colorful characters, a pinch of danger, and generous scoops of adventure and you have a terrific culinary mystery for young readers. Ellen Schwartz introduces her young readers to a delicious genre. She even provides easy-to-follow and yummy to eat recipes. Here is one of them:
Chocolate Cinnamon Sparkle Cookies
Star light, star bright, can you see the sparkle tonight?
Recipe reprinted from The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz
9 ounces (approximately 1¾ cups) bittersweet chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1½ cup granulated sugar, plus 1 cup more for rolling
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup finely ground almonds or almond meal
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Chop chocolate, then set aside ¼ cup. Fill a small pot halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Transfer remaining chocolate to a heat-proof bowl, then place bowl on top of simmering water. Stir the chocolate gently until it melts. Add cubes of butter and stir until they melt, set the mixture aside to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
Beat the eggs, sugar, and honey until the mixture thickens. The eggs are ready when you can lift the whisk and the mixture holds a ribbon-like shape when you dribble it back on itself.
Gently stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then add the ground almonds, cocoa, salt, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the chocolate you set aside earlier.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill it until it is firm enough to roll, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
Prepare a bowl with 1 cup of granulated sugar and the other ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Roll the chilled dough between your palms into 1¼” balls, and drop the balls into the sugar.
Gently shake the bowl to coat cookie balls with sugar, then place on a lined or buttered baking tray 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until the tops are dry but the centers are still soft, about 12 minutes.
Remove cookies from oven and cool 15 minutes, then gently drop the cookies (round side down) into the remaining sugar to add more sparkle.