Sunday, March 16, 2014

classic crème brûlée

The Baked Sunday Mornings Bakers made Crème Brulée this morning.


I wasn't sure I was was going to get around to making it this weekend but dreaming about work woke me up early, so I had plenty of time to steep a vanilla bean and seeds into some cream while setting up the rest of the recipe.

Egg yolks are whisked into sugar and a bit of salt and then the mixture is tempered with the still hot cream before being strained into a clean container.


According to the book, the recipe yields 4 servings but a half a cup of cream per serving seemed a bit much to me, so I poured the cream and egg mixture into 8 smaller containers. The custard is baked in a bain-marie in the oven until the edges are set and the center still soft.

The custards need to cool, then chill for 4 hours before sugar is added to the top of them, and melted with a blow torch. Usually, white granulated sugar is used to make the glass-like top of the crème brûlée but in this case, dark brown sugar is used to give it a more pronounced caramel flavour. Brown sugar does not spread as nicely as white sugar, so I had a hard time melting the sugar evenly since it was bumpy.

I thought the crème brulée had the perfect texture with a nice crunchy top. And it looked so cute in the little teacups! Loved it!


For the recipe, and to see how my fellow bakers enjoyed this recipe, click on through to the Baked Sunday Mornings blog!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I needed a dessert to bring to my parent's house for dinner after the kids had invited themselves over this weekend. I was all set to make Classic Creme Brulée as part of Baked Sunday Mornings, but when I poured the cream in a saucepan, it came out.... not quite liquid.

So.... Spent a couple of hours trying to decide what to make and waited until the very last minute to make this cake.



It's not real pretty, not fancy and not complicated, but it was so good! It hung out on the stove top while dinner was cooking so was still warm and gooey when we had it for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cake itself was moist and light and the topping created gooey swirls of cinnamon and brown sugar yumminess.

This is a very simple 3-bowls and no mixer cake. The batter itself is simply flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk and vanilla whisked together like pancake batter. Melted butter gets poured in the batter and gently combined. The resulting mixture gets spread in a greased 9x13 pan.

The butter for the topping was supposed to be room temperature, but mine was fridge cold, so I simply cut it into some brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Once it seemed combined enough, I poured it on batter and used a knife to swirl the topping into the batter as best as I could.

My cake baked for way longer than the recommended 30 minute average. Maybe, 45 to 50 minutes total.

Once I got around to it, and while the cake was still warm, I made the quick glaze out of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, and poured it on top of the cake where it quickly seeped into the nooks and crannies to settle.



Not much to look at, but it made for a homey satisfying dessert, that could totally be considered breakfast.... cause you know: cinnamon!

Cinnamon Roll Cake
recipe source: Rumbly Tumbly

Cake:
3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

Topping:
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Directions:
Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

Glaze:
2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.




Saturday, March 1, 2014

flourless walnut chocolate cake and dacquoise

I don't do free. No fat free, no sugar free, no gluten free, no dairy or egg free. I live life full, and fully aware of the impact it has on my health! Actually the only free I do is the free food I share with people.



So when I made this cake, I certainly didn't make it because it was gluten free. I picked it for my mom's birthday out of the book Bake it like you Mean it by Gesine Bullock-Prado because it look amazing, and was in the meringue section of the book. My mom loves meringues, so I thought it would be a sure bet.

I knew she would enjoy it, but I was surprised how much the rest of us liked it. My husband and I fought over the last piece.

The cake consists of a flourless walnut chocolate layer, topped with a chocolate filling, then a layer of dacquoise. I made it over three days, making the dacquoise first and storing it in an airtight container for a couple of days. The night before my mom's birthday, I got my husband to play sous-chef and we got the flourless walnut chocolate cake layers in the oven in an half hour. A couple of hours before the birthday dinner, I quickly whipped up the chocolate filling and assembled the cake.

Making the filling was strange for me. 8 egg yolks, 12 oz of chocolate chips and a pinch of salt get combined in the food processor. Yes, the food processor. A half cup of boiling coffee gets poured while the food processor is doing its thing. Then, once everything is combined, a cup of butter gets added to the mix. So I'm pretty sure it's not a buttercream, a mousse maybe? Not technically... So i'm going with an insanely good chocolate filling.

Combined, these three components made for a super rich and delicious cake. The cake was fudgy, the dacquoise got chewy from being sandwiched with the chocolate filling which was super silky. On top of the cake, the little meringue disks stayed crispy.

Probably not the best cake to have after a huge meal, but over the next couple of days, we thoroughly enjoyed it. I just wish I had gotten more and better pictures, but was pressed by time and fading daylight. I wouldn't even post this if it wasn't for the fact that I wanted to remember this cake so I could make it again.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

shaped breads

February's Daring Bakers challenge was so dangerous! Easy, simple ingredients, so yummy, and pretty on top of it!

Daring Baker Sawsan, of Chef in Disguise, challenged us to make beautiful, filled breads.



Sawsan provided us with two recipes, and two shaped breads to attempt. The first one I made was filled with cinnamon sugar. The other recipe made two "loaves" one of which i filled with nutella, the other, with berry preserves.

Cinnamon bread
Servings: 8

1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
3/4 cup (180 ml) warm milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) butter, softened
1/4 cup (60 ml) (50 gm) (1-3/4 oz) white sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) salt
3-1/4 cups (780 ml) (450 gm) (16 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, approximately
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (8 gm) dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon (1 gm) cardamom, optional

1/4 cup (60 ml) of milk
1 tablespoon (15 gm) (1/2 oz) sugar

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) (1/4 cup) (60 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) butter
4 tablespoons (60 ml) (25 gm) (1 oz) cinnamon
1/2 cup (120 ml) (100 gm) (3-1/2 oz) sugar

1 can (400 gm) (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

In a bowl whisk the egg with milk, water, sugar, butter and yeast. Set aside

In another bowl sift the flour with the salt and the optional cardamom. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead until you get a smooth dough.

Note: This recipe requires between 3-1/4 and 3-1/2 cups of flour depending on the weather, humidity and the flour brand. Start with 3-1/4 cups and if you feel that the dough is too soft, add the extra 1/4 cup.

Place the dough in a bowl you have brushed with some oil and cover it with a wet cloth and leave it in a warm place to double.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each part into a circle at least 20 cm (8 inch) in diameter.

Brush the first layer with butter then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Place the second layer on the first layer repeat the brushing and sprinkling and then do the same with the third layer. Top with the fourth layer, this time only brush it with butter.

Using a knife make cuts that divide the dough circles into 8 triangles. Make cuts that go 2/3 of the way in the middle of each triangle. The cuts should not reach the base of the triangle nor the tip. Take the tip of each triangle and insert it into the cut you made and pull it from the underside.

Arrange the triangles on your baking sheet. Pinch the two angles at the base of the triangle together.
Brush the dough with milk.

Allow to rest for 15 minutes during which you would heat your oven to very hot 500°F/240°C/gas mark 9 (rack in the middle). (Go for the hottest your oven will do).

Bake for 5 minutes on very hot 460°F/240°C/gas mark 9, then lower the temperature to moderately hot 390°F/200°C/gas mark 6 and bake for 15-20 more minutes

Note: ovens do differ greatly, so the time may differ,what you want is to bake it until the under side is golden brown and the bread is baked all the way to the center. If the top of the bread is not golden brown by that time and you have a broiler (grill) in your oven. Turn on the broiler (grill) for a couple of minutes until the bread is golden brown on top. If on the other hand the top is getting too dark, consider lowering the oven temperature and covering the top of the bread with foil to stop it from over browning

Take it out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rick and drizzle with sweetened condensed milk while it is still warm.




Nutella twists

Servings: This dough recipe makes two loaves, 16 small pieces each

1 can (400 gm) (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
3 teaspoons (15 ml) (12 gm) yeast
7 cups (1 kg) (2.2 lbs) all-purpose (plain) flour, approximately
Pinch of salt

Instead of the eggwash use
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (25 gm) (1 oz) milk powder
3 tablespoons (45 ml) lukewarm water
1teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1 gm) instant coffee

For the filling
½ jar (200 gm) (7 oz) of nutella (or similar)

Mix the condensed milk, yeast, oil, water, and eggs in the bowl of your mixer. Add the flour one cup at a time and knead using the kneading attachment or by hand till you get a soft dough. The dough will be slightly sticky due to the sweetened condensed milk, don’t worry once the dough rests it will have a wonderful consistency.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rest till it doubles in size

Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 parts. Wrap one part in a plastic bag and work with the other. Divide the dough ball into 4 parts. Roll each part into a circle at least 20 cm (8 inch) in diameter. You can use a plate or any other round item as a template if you want your layers to be identical and uniform. 

Spread the Nutella (or similar filling) on the first layer. Place the second layer on top of the first and repeat. Top with the fourth layer, this time only brush it with butter.

Note: To help with the slippery Nutella, you can place the filled layers before cutting into the fridge for 20-30 minutes, this will help the Nutella to firm up. That will make the cuts and twists easier.

Using a knife make cuts that divide the dough circles into 8 triangles starting at the center but don’t go all the way to the outer edge. Then divide each triangle into two. That gives you a total of 16 triangles. Gently lift the triangles one at a time and twist them.

Repeat for the other dough ball.

Brush the dough with egg wash replacement. Allow to rest for 15 minutes during which you would heat your oven to very hot 500°F/240°C/gas mark 9.

Bake for 5 minutes on very hot 460°F/240°C/gas mark 9, then lower the temperature to moderately hot 390°F/200°C/gas mark 6 and bake for 15-20 more minutes.

Note: Ovens do differ greatly, so the time may differ,what you want is to bake it until the under side is golden brown and the bread is baked all the way to the center. If the top of the bread is not golden brown by that time and you have a broiler (grill) in your oven. Turn on the broiler (grill) for a couple of minutes until the bread is golden brown on top. If on the other hand the top is getting too dark, consider lowering the oven temperature and covering the top of the bread with foil to stop it from over browning.



This challenge was very dangerous for me. I could have made bread all month long! So delicious! Thanks Sawsan for the great challenge!



Saturday, February 15, 2014

cinnamon toast crunch frosting

I made yummy frosting this morning! The cinnamon flavored cupcake itself was just meh, but the cinnamon toast crunch frosting was really, really good!



The original recipe called for 1 3/4 cups of crushed cereal, but since Cinnamon Toast Crunch is one of the kid's favorite, so of course, there was only a tiny bit left. Once powdered in the blender, I was able to get about 3/4 cups of crushed cereal.

The frosting had some texture to it, from the the brown sugar and the crushed cereal, so I just plopped it on the cupcake instead of piping it prettily, afraid that the crushed cereal would clog up the piping tip.

I thought it was a really nice change from boring old vanilla frosting. Now just need to find a cupcake recipe to match this frosting!

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Frosting
recipe adapted from: BS' in the Kitchen

1 1/2 cups butter (room temperature)
4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Wilton butter flavouring
2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
4 tbsp brown sugar
4-5 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup cinnamon toast crunch cereal crumbs (run through a foodprocessor)
Whipping cream to lighten the texture if necessary

Whip the butter with the vanilla, butter flavouring, sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar. When the mixture is creamy, add the icing sugar and cinnamon. Whip until fluffy, then add the powdered cereal. Continue whipping the frosting, adding whipping cream as needed, until desired consistency is obtained.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

antique caramel cake

My fellow bakers at Baked Sunday Mornings made this Antique Caramel Cake a few weeks back. I didn't because.... I got lazy and didn't have a reason to make it. But after reading all blog posts, I jumped on the occasion to make it for my sister in law's birthday.


And it got great reviews! The cake was nice and moist, and the caramel frosting was delicious. Like going on the list of my favorite frosting. (Note to self: Build list of favorite frosting recipes.) Some of the BSM bakers complained of the frosting being fussy, as it's made with cream cheese and is quite soft. I made sure to frost the cake in a cold spot in the kitchen (not hard to find these days, but I actually opened a window while I was frosting.) I did manage to get the cake frosted without too many problems but it did start to droop after sitting at room temperature for most of the afternoon.

I was kinda surprised when I made the cake that it didn't call for salt, vanilla or baking powder. Just baking soda dissolved in vinegar, added in at the very last before baking. The flavor of the cake was just fine without the salt and vanilla. The sides baked up nice and straight and it didn't dome very horribly.


The original recipe can be found here, and makes two 8-inch layers. I double the recipe, and made 3, 9-inch layers. This is one I'd make again in heartbeat!


Friday, December 27, 2013

whoopie pies - daring bakers challenge

I had the pleasure of hosting this month's Daring Baker's challenge for the Daring Kitchen. Each month, a challenge is presented, and the members have until the end of the month to make the recipes and blog about them, starting on the 27th of the month. I've been a member of this monthly "baking club" since 2011 but I've been a pretty absent member in 2013. I blame life. And my job. And life.

So I chose to challenge my fellow bakers to make whoopie pies for my first time hosting. I figured something that was not all that common, easy enough and that wasn't too time consuming because, after all, December is an insanely busy time for us bakers (and non-bakers!).


Whoopie pies are a cross between a cookie and a cake (not a pie!), with two round, mound-shaped halves sandwiching a sweet creamy filling.

According to Wikipedia, Whoopie pies are considered a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition. It is also Maine’s official state treat. The traditional Whoopie pie consists of a chocolate cake and a vanilla marshmallow filling, but pumpkin and gingerbread cake is also common enough. Want to know why they are named Whoopie pies? Check Wikipedia for the cute story!

I personally love them because of the infinite flavor combination possible. They remind me of cupcakes, but more portable and easier to eat. So I provided three recipes for the cookie/cake, and three filling recipes, and challenged the bakers to come up with some delicious flavor combination of their own.

CLASSIC CHOCOLATE WHOOPIE PIES WITH MARSHMALLOW CREME FILLING
Recipe source: King Arthur Flour
Servings: 8 large or 16 small whoopie pies

Ingredients

For the Whoopie Pies

1/2 cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (115 gm) butter
1 cup (240 ml) (7 oz) (200 gm) brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) espresso coffee powder, optional
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4½ gm) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup (120 ml) (1½ oz) (45 gm) Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
2 1/3 cups (560 ml) (10 oz) (285 gm) unbleached all-purpose (plain) flour
1 cup (240 ml) milk

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

2) In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, espresso coffee powder (if using), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla till smooth. Add the egg, again beating till smooth.


3) Add the cocoa, stirring to combine.

4) Add the flour to the batter alternately with the milk, beating till smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and beat again briefly to soften and combine any chunky scrapings.


5) Drop the dough by the 1/4-cupful (60 ml) onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of room between the cakes; they'll spread. A muffin scoop works well here.

6) Bake the cakes in a preheated moderate oven for 15 to 16 minutes, till they're set and firm to the touch. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pans. While still lukewarm, use a spatula to separate them from the pan or parchment; then allow to cool completely.

(pictured are mini whoopie pies, using 1 tablespoon batter)

Ingredients

For the Marshmallow Creme Filling

1 cup (240 ml) (6 oz) (175 gm) vegetable shortening
1 cup (240 ml) (7 oz) (4½ oz) (125 gm) confectioners' sugar or glazing sugar
1-1/3 cups (320 ml) (4 oz) (115 gm) Marshmallow Fluff or marshmallow creme
¼ teaspoon (1½ gm) salt dissolved in 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1) (To make the filling:) Beat together the shortening, confectioners' sugar, and marshmallow until well combined.

2) Dissolve the salt in the water, and add to the marshmallow mixture. Add the vanilla, and beat until smooth. If the filling is too thin, add confectioners’ sugar until desired consistency is reached.


Assemble the Whoopie Pies

1) Spread or pipe filling onto the flat side of half the cakes (with the filling). Top with the remaining cakes, flat side towards the filling. Wrap individually, in plastic wrap, until ready to serve.


The whoopie pies will keep for up to 3 days on a parchment lined baking sheet covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator.

RED VELVET WHOOPIE PIES WITH CREAM CHEESE FILLING
Recipe source: Baked Explorations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Servings: 18 small whoopies

Ingredients

For the Whoopie Pies

2 1/2 cups (600 gm) (10 ½ oz)) (300 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (3/4 oz) (22 gm) dark unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon (2½ gm) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2½ gm) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) buttermilk
2 tablespoons (30 ml) liquid red food coloring
1/2 cup (1 stick) (120 ml) (4 oz) (115 oz) butter, softened, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (12½ gm) vegetable shortening, at room temperature
3/4 cup (180 ml) (5-1/4 oz) (150 gm) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup (60 ml) (2 oz) (55 gm) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, buttermilk and red food coloring.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugars. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then mix on low speed for a few more seconds. Do not over mix.


4. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, in three separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill the batter in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.



6. While the batter is chilling, preheat the oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. Remove the batter from the refrigerator. Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to drop tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch (25 mm) apart. Bake in a preheated moderate oven for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the filling.

Ingredients
For the Cream Cheese Filling

3 cups (750 ml) (13 ¼ oz) (375 gm) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) (1 stick) (4 oz) (115 gm) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces (225 gm) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (1½ gm) salt

Directions:

1. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl and set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.

3. Add the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth. Be careful not to over beat the filling or it will lose structure.

(The filling can be made 1 day ahead. Cover the bowl tightly and put it in the refrigerator. Let the filling soften at room temperature before using.)


Assemble the Whoopie Pies

1. Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down (flat side facing up)

2. Use an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookie.



(cream cheese filling pictured on a pumpkin whoopie pie)

3. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling.

4. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie.

5. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving.

The whoopie pies will keep for up to 3 days on a parchment lined baking sheet covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator.



(Mini whoopie pies are pictured with standard American buttercream frosting as a filling. Cream cheese filling will be much looser and will not hold its shape if piped.)

VANILLA WHOOPIE PIES
Recipe source: FoodNetwork Magazine
Servings: 8 whoopies

Ingredients

2 ¾ cups(660 ml) (11-2/3 oz) (330 gm) flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking soda
¾ teaspoon (3¾ gm) baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) (4 oz) (115 gm) butter, softened
1 1/3 cups (320 ml) ( (10-2/3 oz) (300 gm) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla
1 large egg
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and vanilla with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy; beat in the egg. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 batches; beat until just combined.


Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 16 mounds of batter onto the baking sheets, about 2 inches (50 mm) apart (about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) batter per cookie); gently form into rounds with damp fingers and smooth the tops. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6. Bake the cookies until they spring back when pressed, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.



OLD FASHIONED VANILLA FILLING
Recipe source: Baked Explorations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Servings: way more than you actually need to fill the whoopies

Ingredients
1 cup (240 ml) (8 oz) (225 gm) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) (1 oz) (30 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream (about 35%)
1 cup (2 sticks) (8 oz) (225 gm) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into ½-inch (15 mm) cubes
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.


Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool, at least 7 minutes. (You can speed up the process by pressing bags of frozen berries or frozen corn against the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.) Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. You can’t overbeat this mixture. Just let it go until it’s nice and smooth.


Add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.

***

At first I was afraid my challenge was too simple, or boring, but the members of this group quickly got on the whoopie pie making bandwagon and created all kinds of delicious combinations of cookies and filling. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has participated this month, especially after the passing of founding member Lis in November. Also, kudos to Ruth and Shelley who are making sure the Daring Kitchen community stays strong. Thank you guys!

For more information about this community of bakers, please visit The Daring Kitchen.