Sunday, June 28, 2009

Making Whoopie - (pumpkin whoopie pies that is)

My family loves the pumpkin whoopie pies. I make them for our trips to Big Bear. Now, when I say I'm planning on making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, everyone starts looking forward to cool weather and relaxing in the hot tub! Give 'em a try! I always double the recipe ~ cause 12 is just not enough!!

Makes: 12
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes (I use insulated pans so it take 15 minutes ~ to perfection)

1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, 1/2 stick softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt
1-2/3 cups flour
4 ounces cream cheese, chilled
1 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla, the baking powder, the baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour.
#. Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon (I use a cookie scoop because we like them smaller ~ you can get 32 small pies out of a double batch if you do that), drop 12 generous mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioners' sugar and the remaining 2 pinches of salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
5. Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

Father's Day has come and gone for another year. For the last seven years I have found Father's Day to be a two edged sword. I have a wonderful husband who is a wonderful father to our daughter, Hillary Doll, yet I no longer have my wonderful dad. It will be seven years on September 24th and it seems like only yesterday when his strong hand held mine and he told me how much he loved me.

My dad was the best father on the planet. I know that others would say there dad was great as well and that is a wonderful thing. There are so few truly wonderful fathers. My dad, Clifton Otho Pease, was a great man of God. He had such integrity. His character was implacable. He was loved by everyone. As a matter of fact, I have never met anyone who didn't like my dad. He was honest, kind and the most of all humble. I remember my dad once telling me when I was upset with someone and I probably said something to them that I would regret later, "When you feel like saying something hurtful, take a deep breath and stop to think about those words will hurt someone. If you still think it is worth saying out loud, take another deep breath and think again." I don't remember my dad ever saying a hurtful thing to anyone. I tried to remember these words, "I am the master of words unused and the slave to words that should not have been said.

He had to leave his schooling after the 8th grade to contribute to the family finances and that was always such an embarrassment to him because he thought he was not smart but my dad could do anything and build anything. He built our house and our summer house, he had his own cobbler business (although he gave away more than he sold) and I can't remember anything that my dad couldn't fix.

The lasting memory I have of my dad is of him reading and studying his Bible. He was an awesome Christian and that example is one that I want to emulate. I have often seen him on his knees praying even in the latter years of his life when kneeling was not an easy thing. I know that I will be with my dad again and that is a wonderful comfort to me. He was always my rock, my "go to guy" for all things spiritual. Now I must depend on the true rock ~ the cornerstone of my faith, my heavenly father ~ he too will hold my hand and give me spiritual guidance. All I have to do is be still and know that He is God.

If you have a dad today, hug him, kiss him, hold him and tell him you love him and I pray that he has been a Godly influence on your life. There is no greater comfort when your dad is gone then when you know he is in heaven just waiting for you.