With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Friday, December 27, 2013

Fudge Mint Double Cookies

If teaching has taught me one, it is that our differences most definitely make us stronger.

To suspect that age is the only marker of a human's intelligence is the perfect way to stop some of the best ideas imaginable to come into light.

Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don't.
- Bill Nye

Around holiday times, however, these differences tend to sometimes be a sore subject, left with words unspoken so as to not offend and a lack of celebration seeming like the only safe way to make everyone happy.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, celebrate it well, and celebrate it with the people you love.  We may certainly be different, but truthfully that's half the fun.

The world could use a bit more reason to celebrate, and I'm happy to comply.

Cookies on cookies, during the holidays when indulgence runs second nature is the perfect time to debut these.  Five ingredients.  Maximum ease and wow factor.   More time for celebrating.

Let's do just that.
A very happy holiday to you.

Fudge Mint Double Cookies
Printer Friendly Version
Servings: Approximately 2 dozen cookies

- 1 box devil's food cake mix
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 24 thin mint cookies (available all year round in various brands)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cake mix, water, and softened butter until well combined.  Beat in eggs until well combined.  Roll approximately 1 inch dough balls in powdered sugar and place at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets.  Bake 9-11 minutes (rotating pans halfway through) until cookies have begun to set.  Immediately push a thin mint into each cookie.  Cool on wire racks completely.

Recipe adapted from: Taste of Home

Monday, December 9, 2013

Open Faced Pumpkin Cream Whoopie Pies

Most days, it seems, were all just looking for some balance, most definitely myself included.

Described as a renaissance woman on a good day, and indecisive on a bad one, I myself am always searching for balance in my life in more ways than one.

Never was this more present than in my college days.  A self-proclaimed "future pharmacist" from the age of 5 years old onward, I arrived at Temple University and discovered *shockingly* that I didn't actually want to be a pharmacist.  From then on choosing what I wanted to do FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE (dramatically at the time) felt overwhelming and daunting in all senses.

Pharmacist -> Journalist -> Science Teacher -> Elementary School Teacher -> Science Teacher

Any time I turned my back on science I missed it and felt incomplete, and yet couldn't seem to find how to fit it all in.

I spent part of the time under the impression that nothing would in fact, make me happy and fulfilled in a career.

And then, slowly but surely, it snuck up on me.  Without a doubt, 7th grade science is where I am meant to be.  I look forward to Monday morning just as much as Friday afternoon.  But most importantly what I've come to realize is that I've found a career that inspires me to pursue all of my other interests as well.

If you're at a point in your life where something seems like it's out of place, keep searching.  It's out there.  Maybe a massive change of career isn't as a dramatic of a shift that you need to make.  Just pursue what makes you happy, and you'll find in time you'll get there.

I am a teacher.  A baker.  A blogger.  And probably always searching for even more.  Because if I've learned one thing, it's that being a life-long learner isn't the worst thing to be, and happiness comes from  figuring it all out - and it will never be figured all out.

And for the days when even this seems a bit too daunting - redefining a classic recipe fits the mold just fine.  A bit dense as two sided and filled whoopie pies, as open faced they are just enough.  Mildly sweet, soft, creamy, and filling.

It's true we can't always change or make the rules for life - but with whoopee pies, we definitely can.

The universe has its own way of balancing itself of (scientifically speaking and otherwise). We will all get there in time.

Open Faced Pumpkin Cream Whoopie Pies
Servings: Approximately 30 cookies


For Cookies:
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Make cookies.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicon baking mats.  In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Set aside.  In another bowl whisk together sugars and oil.  Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine with sugar.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over top and whisk to combine.  Scoop rounds of batter 1- 1 1/2 inches in diameter onto baking sheets, flattening slightly if desired.  Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until cookies are beginning to crack on tip and a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Make frosting.  Combine butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until completely smooth.  Add the powdered sugar, maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Frost cooled whoopee pies and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Whether you’re seeking further success in your current role or a new opportunity, Kaplan University can help you prepare for the exciting possibilities ahead.*

As an accredited university built on 75 years of experience,† Kaplan University offers a wide range of career-focused programs designed to develop the skills and knowledge leading employers seek. Our focus: to offer you the most direct educational path to achieve your goals.

Are you ready for a change?  Learn more at kaplanuniversity.edu. 

* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

† Kaplan University is regionally accredited. Please visit http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/about/accreditation-licensing.aspx# for additional information about institutional and programmatic accreditation.