Search This Blog


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Whoopie Pies

I really love Taste of Home magazine.....some of my all-time favorite family recipes have come from one of these well-loved issues over the years.  Last month Taste of Home had an entire article on Whoopie Pies, so I decided to try a couple of them.  Whoopie Pies are great because they are like miniature hand held cakes with the frosting inside - GENIUS!  Wrap them individually and they would be great at a cookout or picnic this summer.  And it is almost really I was making these I looked out the back window to check on my youngest.  She was wearing a swimsuit holding her cute little squirming white bunny.  I'm hoping that no water was involved, but I was busy baking you know.

I tried the Red Velvet and the Go Bananas recipes, I've included links to the TOH original recipes.  They also have recipes for a traditional Chocolate cream filled and a Lemon Gingerbread WP.  The Red Velvets turned out beautifully and held their shape really well.  The Banana recipe spread a bit more, making a flatter cake - but that just made more room for the peanut butter filling. 


Several years ago, I tried a recipe I found in a Family Fun magazine for a pumpkin whoopie pie.  They are super fantastic, probably my favorite.  I don't have any pictures, but in my memory I can still see my picky son yumming as he ate one in a few bites.  Here is the recipe for Pilgrim Pies.  

If you decide to try one of these recipes, here are some Whoopie Pie lessons I learned:
  • Don't make your cakes too big.....the first time I made the pumpkin cakes they were the size of my hand, and took a very long time to bake.  Each cake should take about 1Tablespoon of batter.  (I use the medium sized Pampered Chef scoop, a little bigger than recommended but pretty perfect).
  • Use Parchment Paper.  Just lay it over your cookie sheet and scoop the batter on, no non-stick spray or greasing.  I pull the parchment off the cookie sheet and onto the counter after the cakes bake to let them cool, then just flip over to fill.  
  • My attempts only yielded 17 Red Velvets and 13 Banana Peanut Butters.  If you want the recipe to stretch a bit, use a smaller scoop (the original recipe says they should make 24).
  • One can of Cream Cheese Frosting will fill one recipe of cakes just right if you don't feel like making homemade.
  • In the Red Velvet recipe, I substituted 8 Tablespoons of mini-chocolate chips for the 2 ounces chopped.  I tend to have chocolate chips on hand more readily than semisweet squares.
  • After your cakes are baked let them cool completely and then lay them next to each other in matching "pairs".  Spread the frosting on one of each pair but don't put the lid on until you've filled them all.  That way you can go back and add any extra frosting.

By the way, here is the scoop on the name...... here's to shouting "Whoopie!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


“And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them." But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.”  Mark 1:40-45

This story was the text for my husband’s sermon almost two weeks ago, and it's still bumping around in my heart and head.  There are many things I love about this story… many.  I wish I could’ve seen the look on Jesus’ face when he sees this leper thumping toward Him on his knees.  According to the religion of the day, Jesus’ own heritage, this man was unclean with no way to wash because of His disease.  As he approached Jesus everyone else would’ve taken several steps back because of the stigma of his condition.  I wonder if Jesus’ compassionate reaction to this man was because of the man’s physical pain or because of the words he utters.  I think that Jesus hears this man say, “I know you can heal me, but I’m just not sure you want to”…..and His heart breaks.

How often I do this.  I put all my confidence in God’s abilities, forgetting that His heart is for me.  I am so certain that He can that when He doesn’t I am crushed.  Without a firm understanding of God’s goodness and benevolence toward me I cannot handle difficulty because hardship feels like a personal rejection instead of an entrusted time of precious growth.

When Todd taught this passage He shared this little Greek gem.  When Jesus reaches out to touch the leper He actually “takes hold” of him.  Can you imagine the shockwave of tenderness that rocks through the leper’s body when Jesus pulls him up saying….. “I want to.” 

One more thing to notice, Jesus asks the man not to be a big blabbermouth about His healing.  Weird to us, and obviously weird to the reformed leper.  But Jesus was on a razor focused mission for our salvation and He knew the timing required.  Although this man wore his healing in his new clean and perfect skin, he couldn’t help telling everyone and spreading the news about Jesus’ ability and willingness.  He didn’t follow Jesus’ instruction.  And Jesus paid the price.  Mark 1:45 tells us that because of the crowds Jesus could no longer enter the towns easily but had to stay out in the desolate or lonely places.  It strikes me with such sad gratitude that the isolation Jesus took away from this leper with a compassionate touch was brought upon His own life in the next few days.  Yes, He was willing.  Even knowing that this man, once healed, would bring difficulty and a setback to His ministry, Jesus was willing.

Hear this today, God wants to.  He is not just able, He is willing. If you are waiting or if you have stumbled and are believing the lie that Jesus doesn’t tolerate do-overs because they might set Him back; take heart and smile because He loves you and He is for you.  He is willing. 

If you've never heard this song before, listen to Blessings by Laura Story......

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Potato Chip Cookies

It's a wonderful rainy day and I am blessed to be able to bake cookies in the middle of the afternoon.  That could be "The End".....but I'll go ahead and share.

I've been wanting to try this recipe for Potato Chip Cookies, but have been so convinced no one else would like them that I always move on to something else.  Finding a great recipe that I alone love is dangerous for me.  But today, I felt like baking and had butterscotch chips and potato naturally I had to make these! 

This recipe came from my Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook. Now don't be confused....this isn't a low-cal, low-fat cookie (the first ingredient is an entire cup of Crisco).  This cookie fits a diet only in the "all things in moderation" category (since one cookie has 125 calories).

Potato Chip Cookies
1 cup Butter-flavored shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups crushed potato chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in potato chips and butterscotch chips.  Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 4 dozen.

I creamed the shortening and sugars together using my Kitchen-Aid then added the eggs.  After that was mixed well I poured all the flour and the baking soda in and mixed just until combined.  I tossed in the butterscotch chips and mixed well and then added the potato chips last since they are fragile after all; but there is no way I'm mixing them in by hand.  Mine only took 9 minutes and were just almost too crispy.

These are yummy!  I might try using half Crisco, half real butter next time  - but that would yield a flatter cookie and I like mine plump.  I think that using a heavier chip (maybe a Ruffle type) might work better than my experiment with regular Lay's.

So if you find yourself with a rainy day and a bag of potato chips and butterscotch chips you might want to try these!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lessons from the Lord's Prayer

On Wednesday mornings we are studying the Sermon on the Mount.  This week we came to the Lord's Prayer taught in Matthew 6:9-15.  As I studied and wrote down what I was learning in my journal it turned into this......a "journaly" little paragraph of notes to remember.  I often struggle with wanting my prayer life to fit into a neat little give and take fill in the blank type formula.  I learned alot today and was reminded that prayer is communication of precious relationship.

My lessons today from studying the Lord’s Prayer:

When I pray I must recognize first and foremost that I am a loved child of God, in a closely connected and personal relationship with the God who created me.  I can be confident that I can come to Him with the warmth of a “Daddy” cry.  Even then I must never forget that He alone controls, knows all, and rules.  In every interaction I have with Him all by myself as well as every interaction about Him teaching and living among others, I need to be looking for and acknowledging the truth of who He really is.  Not who I want Him to be or who others wish Him to be; but who He has already declared Himself and shown Himself to be.  I must pray for eyes to see and a heart to recognize Him.  I must desire His rule and reign not only in my life and the lives of those I love and understand; but also in the lostness, chaos, and darkness of the world around me.  It should grieve me when God’s Truth and Rule is not embraced and obeyed.  When I pray I should ask for grace to submit to His plan at all costs and in all situations.  In doing that I’m praying for the perfection of heaven to be reflected in the lives of all those who belong to Him here on earth.  I need to hold onto things lightly and refuse to worry about the material, enjoying the blessings He gives while trusting Him to provide.  I should always be aware of sin in my life, quick to recognize it and quick to repent and be rid of it.  Standing confidently in the certainty that He always forgives me.  As I do this I can be very quick to forgive others, refusing to hold onto grudges or remember the ways I’ve been wronged or hurt.  I need to pray desperately for eyes to see what might trip me up and lead me away from my loving Father and Protector, running always back to Him as a cherished and beloved daughter.