Friday, December 27, 2013

Daring to do it: Whoopie Pies

This month's challenge was a lot of fun.  While it wasn't necessarily complicated, it was something I never really thought I would make on my own...

  The December Daring Bakers' Challenge had us all cheering - the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavors we chose... What else is there to say but "Whoopie!"

Whoopie pies, I thought, were kind of a Pennsylvania Dutch kind of treat.  To that end, I never thought about getting them, since I thought the chances of there being lard in them was high.  I am so glad the lovely Bourbonatrix hosted this challenge...!  It gave me the chance to play and to experience the joys of saying "whoopee!" with every treat!  (And, yes, the four year old insisted that we all say whoopie as we at!)
I made Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies.  Vanilla cakes sprinkled with cinnamon sugar filled with brown sugar buttercream.

Scooping out the batter for the cakes:
The baked cakes:
The brown sugar buttercream:
Filled morsel of goodness:
These were SO good.  I was worried they would be too sweet, but they were really rather well balanced.  I filled them one at a time - the buttercream was a little runnier than I had hoped it would be.  But these were a total win.  Hubby's coworkers were very happy to eat the leftovers!!  And I have some more flavor combinations I can't wait to try!

Thank you, Bourbonatrix, for this amazing challenge!!
Take a look here to see what my fellow Daring Bakers created this month!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Daring to do it: Cabbage Rolls

Sorry for the long silence.  I am finally back to the challenges - making them, not just editing them!!
I am also sorry that I am having a hard time getting the pictures in here.  I used my phone instead of my camera, and I guess I don't really know the right way to transfer the files..!  I will keep trying!

December’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge had us on a roll! Olga from challenged us to make stuffed cabbage rolls using her Ukrainian heritage to inspire us. Filled with meat, fish or vegetables, flexibility and creativity were the name of the game to get us rolling!

Olga's recipes looked amazing.  And the pictures she took were out of this world.  I don't think I have ever had stuffed cabbage before and I was almost drooling wanting to make these!  But with time being what it is, and with now working full time, I wasn't sure when I was going to get this done.  Then came the brain - I have a slow cooker!  I found this recipe for slow cooker stuffed cabbage and knew I had it set.  (Bonus - I also had a snow day on Tuesday, so extra time to work with!  Yay!) I did make a few changes, as usual...  I used beans instead of mushrooms, and I used yellow squash in the filling.  I also omitted the cheese...
I don't have pictures of the process, but while I was separating out the cabbage leaves I had the thought that I must have been a Daring Cook for too long if I think pealing off cabbage leaves is fun...!  It was really neat to see the leaves come apart so smoothly!
Thanks to Olga's great explanation and pictures, rolling the cabbage was not nearly as hard as I feared it might be.  And, by using the slow cooker, I could do all of my prep work the day before, then just set the crock pot in the morning.  It was great!!

Hubby and I really liked the rolls.  Big Girl wasn't a fan, but she has become quite a picky eater these days, so she says she doesn't like dinner about three nights each week.  Little Girl liked it, which was nice.  I brought leftovers into work the next day, and my teaching cohort and I inhaled them.  These are better the next day...!  And the day after, if there is anything left!

Thank you, Olga, for such a wonderful challenge, and for all of your patience and support!!
Take a look here to see what my fellow Cooks created this month!!