Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birthday fun and recipes

Last Saturday night we had a great joint birthday party. My niece Grace turned 11 on January 17,and Jesse turned 2 on January 19.

At the party, we ate a lot, talked a lot, played a lot of Wii...in short, we had a great time! Kent recently fixed up our unfinished basement so the kids could play there while the adults were on the main level of the house. It made for a much more enjoyable time for both adults and kids!

This was Jesse talking to Grandma Bev on the phone - he loved it even if she was sitting just a few feet away from him!

And of course there had to be at least one present that was either Notre Dame or Yankee paraphernalia!

When everyone gathered around to sing happy birthday to Jesse, he got this really funny, embarrassed look on his face. I've never seen the look before - it was hilarious!

Thanks to everyone who came and made the evening special. And especially thanks to Jim and Bev for driving 6 hours and spending time with us this weekend.

And here by popular demand, the recipes for the cinnamon sugar sticks and red velvet whoopie pies, courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens. (I'm clueless as to why the links aren't working in the previous post - they work just fine here...)

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies (which are really just chocolate whoopie pies with food coloring - is that what red velvet cake really is??)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1-oz. bottle red food coloring (2 Tbsp.)
  • 1 recipe Whoopie Pie Filling, recipe below


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment; set aside. In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in food coloring.

3. Spoon batter in 1- or 2-inch diameter rounds, about 1/2-inch high on prepared baking sheets, allowing 1 inch between each round.

4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes for 1-inch cookies or 9 to 11 minutes for 2-inch cookies, or until tops are set. Cool completely on baking sheets on rack. Remove cooled cookies from baking sheets.

5. To fill, dollop Whoopie Pie Filling on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down. Makes 60 one-inch or 42 two-inch cookies.

6. Whoopie Pie Filling: In medium mixing bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter and half an 8-ounce package softened cream cheese until smooth. Fold in one 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme.

7. To store: Refrigerate in airtight container up to 4 days. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

Cinnamon Sugar Sticks
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups slivered almonds, toasted and ground (about 7 oz.)
  • 3 oz. white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1/3 cup red cinnamon candies, crushed
  • 1/3 cup coarse decorating sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In mixing bowl beat butter on high 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until combined. Beat in baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

3. In medium bowl combine flour and almonds. Beat as much flour mixture as you can into butter mixture. Stir in remaining flour mixture.

4. On lightly floured surface roll or pat dough to 14x7-inch rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut in half, making two, 14x3 1/2-inch rectangles. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch wide sticks. Use a metal spatula to transfer to baking sheets, placing 1 inch apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until firm and edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.

5. In small heavy saucepan melt chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. In wide shallow bowl combine crushed candies and sugar. Dip sticks in chocolate then in candy mixture. Place on waxed paper to set. Makes 56 sticks.

6. To store: Place cookies, separated between waxed paper, in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.


Mary and Wilbur Litwiller said...

I am sorry that we missed the b-day party. i also miss the snow. It is going to be in the 70's today.
Love grandpa

bets said...

Thanks for a great evening and yes I will remind all that i did pretty darn well at the bowling game!!