Showing posts with label easy summer dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy summer dessert. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Whipped Cream Whoopie Pies: My Light Summer Version of the Classic by Cleo Coyle

This is a lighter version of a classic Whoopie Pie. I replaced some of the butter with canola oil and used yogurt for added nutrition. The chocolate flavor is delicious and the texture soft and brownie-like. They're wonderful eaten warm, just out of the oven, and remain one of my favorite coffee break snacks.

You can drop this batter into a bigger and thicker cookie, which will give you a cookie that tastes like a brownie. 

You can drop the batter into smaller cookies, which are perfect for making tasty, little ice cream sandwiches, a summertime version of a Whoopie Pie! 

On the ice cream sandwich making: I’ve used softened frozen yogurt, ice cream, and gelato. But my favorite version is a "cheater" ice cream Whoopie Pie using whipped cream or Cool Whip, which is even lower in fat and calories. It’s also economical... 

The prices for low-fat frozen desserts are fairly high for the amount per box. So while my homemade frozen treats are about the same calories as (say) a Weight Watchers ice cream sandwich, they're also fun to make, you can control your flavor and ingredients, and they’re much easier on ye olde budget. 

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

A good reason to…

Eat with joy! 

~ Cleo 

Cleo's Whipped Cream 

(or Ice Cream) Whoopie Pies!

For free recipe PDF,
click here.

To download a PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Makes about 24 large or 48 small, 
soft, brownie-like cookies


5 tablespoons butter, melted 
1/3 cup oil (I use canola) 
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or coarse sea salt 
3/4 cup light brown sugar 
1/2 cup white, granulated sugar 
1 cup plain yogurt (low-fat yogurt is fine, but
   do not use nonfat; you can also use sour cream) 

2 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Add fiber to this recipe by replacing half of the all-purpose flour with "white whole wheat" flour.


Step 1 – First preheat your oven to 350° F. Next melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir the oil into this and set aside to cool. 

Step 2 – One bowl mixing method: Sift together flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Now add in your two sugars, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. Finally add the cooled melted butter and oil mixture. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix by hand until flour is completely incorporated into a thick batter. Now stir about 50 strokes to blend well. Do not over-mix, however, or you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and your Whoopie Pie cookies will be tough instead of tender.

Step 3 – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Batter will be thicker than cake batter but thinner than cookie dough. Drop in small mounds with a few inches of space between. Use a tablespoon for large cookie, a teaspoon for smaller ones. Using the back of the spoon, lightly swirl the mounds into even, level, flattish circles. Bake smaller cookies for about 8 minutes, larger ones for about 10. Remove from oven. I like to slide the entire strip of parchment paper onto the wire rack--this saves time and avoids disturbing the shape of the cookies by moving one at a time with a spatula. Serve warm or chill and sandwich together with ice cream, frozen yogurt, or gelato.

CHEATER ICE CREAM SANDWICHES: For a tasty, much lower calorie alternative to ice cream, use whipped cream or Cool Whip (low-fat, vanilla, or chocolate). See my photos below, which will show you how I use Reddi-whip whipped cream to make my chilly cheater treats.


(A) Line the plate:
 When making ice cream sandwiches, be sure to cover your plate with wax paper or plastic wrap before placing in the freezer or the bottom half of your sandwich may stick to the plate. After filling each sandwich, wrap them up separately, and store them in the freezer.

(B) Cover lightly: When using whipped cream, be sure place the top cookie on very gently

(C) Allow time to freeze: The whipped cream will freeze after two to three hours.

Prefer that heavier marshmallow filling?
Here you go...

More Traditional Whoopie Pie Filling…

1 cup solid vegetable shortening or butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)
2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
(optional) 1 or more tablespoons whole milk

In a medium bowl, beat together the shortening (or butter), sugar, and vanilla. If using unsalted butter add a pinch of salt. Now add the Marshmallow fluff and beat until well blended. If too thick for your taste, beat in a bit of milk until you like the consistency.

F O O D I E 


If using whipped cream in a can, you'll need to double dose
the cream after about an hour in the freezer. Here's why:
After the initial hit, the air in the cream deflates.
But no worries. The double dosing really does the trick. 

See the results in the photo below.

For free recipe PDF,
click here, and...

* * * * * * *

May you...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Five Minute Honey-Cinnamon Peach Sopapillas from Tortillas by Cleo Coyle

Summer fruits make the best desserts, don't they? 

I know this is a recipe blog, but for ease, health, and pleasure it's hard to top a simple bowl of strawberries with whipped cream, or a juicy slice of watermelon with the tiniest bit of salt, or....

A single fresh, ripe peach.

Well, here's an idea for an easy way
to dress up that summer peach and
serve it as an elegant dessert.

It's easy, healthy and
absolute ambrosia to eat...

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here  and here.

Cleo Coyle's 5-Minute
Honey-Cinnamon Peach
Sopapillas from Tortillas

Traditionally sopapillas are little pillows of fried dough. They can be served with savory ingredients but also as a dessert with honey and cinnamon.

You can certainly make them from scratch, but I'm happy to show you a quick, easy, lighter way to make them using flour tortillas. While I didn't invent this idea, I'm happy to share the way I put together the basic ingredients and method, including tips I've learned along the way...

Makes 1 serving (or you can share)


- 1 six-inch flour tortilla

- 2-3 teaspoons shortening (my favorite: cold-pressed extra virgin
coconut oil, but you can also use olive oil, or your favorite oil,
butter, lard, or vegetable shortening - see my note below)

- Raw honey for drizzling (Health and flavor note: Raw honey is far, far better tasting than heat-processed honeys. It's truly worth the price and makes a huge difference in flavor. If you can find local raw honey, that's an even better benefit for your immune system. Read more here.)

- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon mixed with - 2 teaspoons sugar

- 1 ripe, fresh peach

DIRECTIONS: Place a skillet on medium-high heat and add your choice of shortening (oil, butter, lard, etc). You must use some kind of shortening and enough of it or the tortilla will not properly bubble up. 

When the oil is hot (or the butter melted), place the tortilla in the pan. Allow it to heat up (15 to 20 seconds), then flip it and wait patiently for the tortilla to bubble up. (See my photos below.) If it does not bubble up, you need to increase the heat and keep waiting. Then flip it one more time to finish cooking and remove it from the pan. Slip it on the plate, drizzle it with raw honey, and sprinkle it generously with cinnamon sugar. Use a pizza cutter to slice it into sections.

To serve, slice up a fresh peach and arrange the slices on the center of a plate as shown in my photos. Drizzle with raw honey and cinnamon sugar. Place the sopapilla slices around the plate, top the center of the peach slices with whipped cream or ice cream and eat with joy!

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins,
recipe here.
My shortening note: My very favorite shortening for this recipe is cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil. This is a healthy, delicious oil, and of all the shortenings I tested with this recipe, coconut oil gave the absolute best results. It doesn't brown the way butter does at a high temperature; it brings a lovely, slightly nutty flavor to the tortilla; and it creates a nice, crisp texture in the tortilla as it cools. 

To learn more about it and tips on which kind to buy, click here for my past recipe post on Chocolate Ricotta Muffins that includes the subject of coconut oil. 

F o o d i e
P h o t o s

Eat and Drink

with Joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
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To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Easy Summer Living

One of the traits I share with my protagonist, Sophie, is the belief that food doesn't have to be fancy, difficult to prepare, or a lot of work to be good.

I love baking tortes. Lots of layers with a delicious cream in between them and a beautiful icing or frosting on top. I've been known to tackle the wonderful, but sort of scary Dobos Torte. Seven layers with a hard caramel topping. Tortes like that are the perfect thing for company. You don't have to be a pro at decorating for them to be showstoppers. Plus they're large, so they provide dessert all weekend long.

A fabulous cake is a big time commitment, though. And at the moment, I don't have a bunch of guests to consume a cake, and someone would have to eat it . . .

So today I opted to use more of the wonderful fruit that's so plentiful right now and bake the sort of thing that Sophie would whip up for her friends. I used ready made puff pastry to speed things up a lot. This recipe is so simple that there's really not much to it. But it tastes wonderful and you can make exactly as many as you need so you won't be tempted to eat the leftovers.

I tried several things to see what worked best. I indented some of the pastry where the peaches were to help the edges puff up -- totally unnecessary. To make them sweeter, I added a little bit of raspberry jam under the peaches on some of them. You can do that if you want, but to be perfectly honest, I liked the ones without it better. Peaches and pastry -- so simple! It doesn't get better than that.

As you can see from the pictures, some of the peaches are in a row and others are circular and somewhat like a rose. I liked the rose formation best. They're prettier, and they have more peach on them, so there's a better peach to pastry ratio.

Peach Puff Pastry Tarts

puff pastry (follow directions for thawing)
peaches (roughly 1/2 peach per tart)
1 egg

Preheat oven according to instructions for your puff pastry. Somewhere between 375 and 390.

If using large sheets of puff pastry, cut into squares approximately 5 inches by 5 inches.

Peel peaches and slice. Arrange on the puff pastry squares in a line, slightly overlapping, or in a circle, slightly overlapping.

Sprinkle the fruit generously with sugar.

Beat the egg with a fork and brush on the edges of the puff pastry.

Bake 18-20 minutes.

Eat plain, or serve with ice cream or whipped cream.