For the New Year:

I hope:

1.) That everyone laughs more than cries.

2.) That everyone’s portfolio rebounds (especially those getting ready to retire).

3.) That we can all be grateful for the things we DO have, rather than focusing on the things we don’t. Being positive, even in the face of a negative is in the end…a positive.

4.) That I don’t crush under stress, but even if I do, my husband will be there to drag me out of the rubble.

5.) That my kids, with their very healthy lungs, find it in their hearts to stop screaming at the top of them, but even if they continue, I’m so lucky to have both of them. I wouldn’t be me with out them.

6.) That all of my friends are happy, and when they are not, my door is always open and we always have cookies and pasta.

7.) That my family stays healthy (they’ll obviously be happy because they’ll see my shining face more than they bargained for).

8.) That I don’t break any fingers so I can continue knitting everyday. I think it keeps me balanced.

9.) That we arrive in Newport safely and of sane mind and soul.

10.) Last, but most definitely not least. That our troops around the world return home safely. That the families who have lost their loved ones continue to hold their heads high and be proud of the sacrifice that was made and know that we will never forget.

On that note…Whoopie Pies!!!!

Chocolate MINT Whoopie Pies!

cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening or unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk

mint filling

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening or unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (from about 2 large eggs)
  • 3 to 4 drops green food coloring

chocolate ganache

  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
  • special equipment

    Pastry bag or resealable plastic bag
    Medium-size star pastry tip

Preparation

cookies

  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat shortening, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beating until blended after each addition.
  • Drop dough by very rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are slightly puffed and spread but are still soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes. Carefully transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. DO AHEAD Cookies can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight in single layer at room temperature.

mint filling

  • Using electric mixer, beat shortening, peppermint extract, and vanilla in large metal bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar, egg whites, and pinch of salt; beat until light and fluffy. Add food coloring drop by drop for desired shade of green; beat until well blended. If mixture looks curdled, place bowl over low heat several seconds and beat until smooth. Repeat as necessary until smooth.

ganache

  • Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring cream to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool until lukewarm but spreadable, about 15 minutes.
  • Spoon 1 teaspoon ganache onto bottom (flat side) of half of cookies. Place cookies, ganache side up, on prepared baking sheet.
  • Spoon mint filling into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip (or spoon filling into resealable plastic bag, squeezing filling into 1 corner of bag, then cut off 1/4 inch of plastic bag corner to allow for piping). Starting at outer edge of bottom (flat side) of remaining cookies and working toward center, pipe mint filling in spiral. Place 1 mint-filled cookie, mint side down, atop each ganache-topped cookie, pressing slightly to adhere. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/01/whoopie_pies_with_mint_filling_and_chocolate_ganache#ixzz19iIwoE1h

These are SOOOOO good. I could have eaten the entire batch in one sitting. Seriously, if you have an extra 3 hours laying around your house some where, use them now and make these.

I use to think that there was something magic about the way mint flavored stuff was green. Now that I know it’s just food coloring, it is not nearly as exciting as my adolescent mind made it out to be. I still LOVE minty things though.

My 2011 is sure to be incredible and I am so excited to ring it in. It is sure to be filled with lots of laughing, good food, and crazy antics. Happy 2011 to you all!

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