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Gingerbread Whoopie Pies – So Wrong, and Yet So Right

Admittedly, the witch joke at the beginning of the video
may have been a little graphic, but that’s what I always think of when I hear the
legend of how these cookies supposedly got their name. As the story goes, when
these sweet treats first made their appearance, people that tasted them were so
taken by the sheer awesomeness, that they went nuts and started running around
shouting, “Whoopie!! Whoopie!!” 


Sure they did. This seems very exaggerated, but no matter
how they got the “whoopie” part, at least the rest of the name is not accurate
either. That’s right, not only is this cookie not a pie, this pie isn’t even a
cookie…it’s really a little cake. Confused? Me too, and I just wrote that.

Anyway, despite the dubious name, and the other dubious
name, at least the gingerbread part is accurate. Although, now that I think
about it, it’s not really a ”bread”…okay, this has to stop. With holiday cookie
exchanges in full swing, the only thing I can say with certainty is that these
whatever-they-are’s were very delicious, fun to make, and I hope you give them
a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 9 to 12 finished Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
(depending on the size!)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces by weight)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 rounded teaspoons ground ginger (3 if you like it spicy)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup boiling water
Bake at 350ºF or about 12 minutes
For the filling (makes extra!):
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tsp cream or milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
*you can adjust texture by adding more powdered sugar or
milk

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Banana maple French toast

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  • Serves: 4

  • Prep time: 10 mins

  • Cooking time: 5 mins

  • Total time: 15 mins

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

Thick slices of bread dipped in a cinnamon spiced batter, fried in butter until golden and served with a delicious warm chocolate-flavoured maple syrup this is the ultimate sweet treat for breakfast or brunch. Use a chunky farmhouse loaf and make sure the slices are quite thick – if they’re too thin the bread will soak up too much of the batter and go a bit mushy. Slices of sweetened brioche bread can be used instead of white bread but omit the sugar from the batter. For a lighter dish serve the toast with natural yoghurt instead of chocolate syrup.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 25g butter
  • 4 thick slices white bread
  • 6tbsp maple syrup
  • 50g plain chocolate, grated
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced

That’s goodtoknow

Scatter over a handful of blueberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries instead of the sliced bananas, if liked.

Method

  1. Place the eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk together thoroughly. Whisk in the sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Dip the slices of bread in the egg mixture making sure they are completely coated. Heat a large knob of butter in a heavy-based frying pan until foaming and add the soaked bread slices. Fry for 1-2mins on each side until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, place the maple syrup and chocolate in a small and heat gently, stirring, until the chocolate has melted into the syrup.
  4. Serve the French toast topped with the sliced bananas and drizzled with the warm chocolate syrup.

By Nichola Palmer

What do you think of this recipe? Leave us your comments, twist and handy tips.

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Bread and butter pudding

My mind has gone. I felt it fading away about two months ago but it’s really gone now. Bye bye. I can’t read anything and am starting to do things like order 5 of the same thing on Ocado when I only wanted 1 and leaving the iron on.

When I was just newly up the duff I was reading Bring Up The Bodies and although I didn’t really understand what was going on, there was no doubt that I was genuinely reading it, enjoying the, you know, atmosphere, if not actually taking on board any content. But then, like the bloke in Flowers for Algernon, I gradually ground to a halt, got stupider and stupider, more vague. I read fewer pages every night until my Kindle battery ran out and I just didn’t bother to recharge it.

And that was the last literary thing I read. Now I read newspapers and Twitter and that’s it. I can’t even really concentrate on films. It’s not forever, I know, but it is annoying. It happened with Kitty, too, but things were easy then. I just sat about humming to myself, eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and ordering things off the John Lewis website. Now, with nothing to read and nothing to think about all I do is obsess over when this will all be over and I don’t have to be pregnant anymore – or ever again.

I am constantly struck by the pitifulness of the pregnant woman-with-toddler combination. Whenever I saw them in the playground I always used to think “Oh god, you poor cow.” And now it’s me. Yesterday, as I pushed Kitty’s buggy through the freezing rain I was brought to mind of a character in The Mayor of Casterbridge*, the tedious Thomas Hardy novel, (which I hope for your sake you have not bothered reading): little Fanny Robin, pregnant out of wedlock by a scoundrel soldier and forced to walk for miles and miles through the snow, 8 months gone. I think that’s what kills her. Or maybe she dies in childbirth. Anyway, it’s grim and I dwell ghoulishly on poor Fanny Robin as I am forced, bookless, to focus inwards.

It will do that to you, being pregnant – it makes you selfish, self-pitying, green-eyed. It makes you covet things – slimness, agileness, more help or the life of the woman whose children are all at school.

This is an inappropriate introduction to my recipe today, which is for bread and butter pudding – probably the antithesis of all this stark moaning. If stark moaning were a foodstuff, it would be a bad cheese sandwich from a motorway service station. Bread and butter pudding on the other hand, is the food equivalent of a really brilliant wedding speech.

I am not going to provide you with completely exact quantities for this because your pudding dishes will all be different and it’s a very simple thing to make, so being very precise doesn’t matter and you can judge things by eye yourself. And if I say that, you know it must be true.

This is based on Delia Smith’s recipe, so if you can’t handle the vague quantities thing (and I wouldn’t blame you), do seek hers out online.

So here we go, Bread and Butter pudding.

Some white bread
butter
currants
sultanas
ground cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg or all three
some mixed candied peel might be nice? But don’t go out specially for it
3 eggs (ok you really DO need 3 eggs here)
double cream
milk
50g sugar
some lemon zest if you have it

Preheat your oven to 180C

1 Generously butter your pudding dish. Then start buttering slices of white bread on one side, cutting them in half – rectangles or triangles, up to you, (crusts on) and arranging them in the dish.

2 You ought to be able to get about two layers of bread in here, and between the two layers, throw in some currants and sultanas and a sprinkling of spice or spices. Be generous. I used only Allspice, but a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg would be lovely as well.

3 Repeat this on the final layer.

4 In a jug beat the three eggs and then add to this the sugar, lemon zest then the double cream and milk in a ratio of about 2/3 double cream to 1/3 milk and mix.

NOW – this is the bit where you have to judge for yourself how much cream and milk you need. You don’t want the egg-and-cream mixture to be slopping over the sides, but you want the top layer of bread to be soaking up the mixture from the underneath. Err on the side of caution and add less than you think you need – you can always top up the cream and milk afterwards.

Stir all this round and then pour over the bread. Give it a small jiggle. Mix some more cream and milk together and slosh over if you think it needs it.

5 Finish this off with a sprinkling of granulated sugar, if you have it, then shove in the oven for 30-40 mins. The eggy mixture ought to be just set.

Eat with custard or more cream, while staring into space.

*Fanny Robin is not, of course, in The Mayor of Casterbridge but in Far From The Madding Crowd – I TOLD you I’d lost it…

 

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