Thursday, January 27, 2011

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

February is right around the corner, so you know what that means- we get to find out if this snow will end sooner than later! That groundhog better not see its shadow. We’ve already gone through like five winters here in New York. Is anyone else ready for spring?

On a side note, Valentine’s Day is coming up. A holiday specifically created to show how much you love your significant other with roses, a fancy dinner, chocolate, and gifts… sounds more like a day created to empty the pockets of consumers like us, huh? Nevertheless, wouldn’t you pay any price to make the one that is most important to you happy?

For those celebrating with a special someone this year, here’s a sweet treat to share with him or her. Those without that ‘someone else,’ but still want to get into the holiday spirits, can indulge in these rich, fluffy red velvet whoopie pies. They’re so good that you won’t even want someone to share them with! Enjoy!

Note: In case you were wondering, the second photo includes a banana whoopie pie with nutella and chocolate whoopie pie with mint frosting (not sure if I'll use this mint recipe again, though).

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Yields: about 30 one inch pies



- 2 cups all purpose flour

- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

- ½ tsp. baking soda

- ¼ tsp. salt

- ½ cup butter, softened

- 1 cup packed brown sugar

- 1 egg

- 1 tsp. vanilla

- ½ cup buttermilk

- 1 ½ Tbsp. red food coloring


- ¼ cup butter, softened

- 1- 8 oz. package of cream cheese

- 1- 7 oz. jar of marshmallow fluff


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until it is smooth. Gradually add the sugars and cream until the texture and color is light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the egg until it is incorporated.

4. Alternate between the flour mixture and buttermilk, beating after each addition only until it’s just combined. Overbeating will result in dense and dry cookies. Stir in the food coloring.

5. Spoon the batter with a tablespoon or a melon ball scooper in 1 or 2 inch diameter rounds on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about an inch between each round.

6. Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes for 1- inch cookies, 9-11 minutes for 2-inch cookies, or just until tops are set. Cool completely on baking sheets on a rack. Remove the cooled cookies from baking sheets.

7. While you’re baking and letting the cookies cool, make the filling. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Fold in the jar of marshmallow fluff.

8. To assemble, place a dollop of the filling on the flat side of a cookie and sandwich it with another half.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Maple Cornmeal Biscuits

Did you ever have one of those mornings where you stir awake to the sound of birds singing their sweet songs, to the warm touch of the sun’s rays gently streaming through your window, and to the smell of freshly ground coffee brewing? If you live in this world, your mornings probably begin with a loud, obnoxious alarm clock. And cold cereal. And racing thoughts about what you need to get done today… or didn’t get done yesterday.

Life throws a lot at us and it can get overwhelming at times. But, thank God for the family and community found at 180 Church that help us to carry these burdens. And, thank God for the wonders of flour and butter, that magical transformation of basic ingredients into something like these warm, buttery biscuits! It’s not sunshine or birds chirping, but it’ll definitely ease you into the day. With each bite, you’ll be reminded that everything will be okay :)

For all you non-bakers without all the “special” equipment (i.e. mixer, whisk, cake pans, etc.), this is the recipe for you. You most likely have ninety percent, if not all, of the ingredients in your pantry already. No special technique involved really. Just some tossing, stirring, and scooping action. So, no need to be intimidated. You can do it!

Maple Cornmeal Biscuits

Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours via

Yields: 12 biscuits


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons; 3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces

1/2 cup cold whole milk

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a mixing bowl. Scatter butter over the flour mixture and toss to coat the pieces of butter with the flour. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like pea sized pebbles.

3. Stir the milk and maple syrup together and pour it over the dry ingredients. Gently mix with a whisk or fork to combine the ingredients until it forms into a very soft dough.

4. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough onto the lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve with butter, honey, jam, syrup, or by itself.

These are best on the day they are made, especially right out of the oven. However, you can keep it overnight in an airtight container. Warm them briefly in a 350 degree F oven before serving.