Feb 28, 2012

Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off: Week 3

* See Ya In the Gumbo potluck HERE until Friday, March 2nd
* Eggland's Best Prize Pack Giveaway HERE until Friday, March 2nd

Blogger's choice this week for the Joy the Baker Spotlight & Cook-Off.  We've all been studying up on Joy's recipes for a few weeks now.  Visit the listing of participating bloggers at girlichef to see what everyone couldn't resist!

The perfect place to start this week is the very first recipe I couldn't resist from my Joy the Baker Cookbook.

See, it went something like this.  There are 22 bloggers signed on for this JTB Spotlight.  One day something wonderful and magical happened to most of those 22.  The JTB cookbooks arrived.  For 2 days I read emails about cookbooks delivered.  Only not at my house.  That was hard.  I started wondering if my mailman had hijacked my cookbook.

Then one Saturday I came home from work for lunch.  And there it was.  The Husband had even taken it out of the package for me since I couldn't stand it anymore.  Only let's say he didn't since opening other people's mail is a crime.  I spent my lunch hour turning pages.

I went back to work.  The rest of the afternoon wondering about what I could make when I got home.  Only let's say I didn't since that would make me a pretty inattentive little worker.

The day never ended.  Only it did.  But I'm sure you figured that.

Score!  I had everything I needed for Joy's Cheddar Chive & Jalapeno Biscuits.  Only I didn't have chives.  Or fresh jalapenos.  But I did have green onions and pickled jalapenos.

These biscuits were great.  Green onion and cheese are probably one of my favorite food combinations.  The jalapenos gave just the right amount of yeahbaby.  And the texture.  Wow!  I don't know how she does it, but I've tried two of Joy's biscuit recipes and the texture she achieves is fantastic.

Throughout this spotlight on Joy the Baker, Heather has given us the option of sweet, savory, or both.  So far I've done sweet (Chocolate Fudge Brownies w/ Chocolate Buttercream).  I've done savory (Whole Wheat Honey Goat Cheese Biscuits).  This means I had to do one of each this week for balance.  Only it was really because I like chocolate and peanut butter.

So bring on the Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

I made these whoopie pies for Valentine's Day.  I laughed my butt off the next day when I realized while driving somewhere that I had made whoopie pies on V-Day.  The people in the car next to me sure looked uneasy.

But my point is V-Day dessert  is usually something really special.  Joy's Chocolate PB Whoopie Pies are something special.  If you are a pb/chocolate fan, these whoopie pies are something you have to try.  Or you can't really call yourself a pb/chocolate fan.  The filling is incredible and I plan to turn it into frosting for every cake I make from now until the end of cake baking.  Only probably not quite because there's Joy's Chocolate Buttercream frosting too.

One note: I got lazy and started making my cakes larger and larger as time went on.  Kinda like when I roll meatballs.  Word to the wise: keep them small.  One you add the filling and another cake that thing will be so huge you'll have to share it.  Only I didn't.

Printer Friendly
Cheddar Chive & Jalapeno Biscuits
from Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold buttermilk, plus more for topping
1 egg
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1 medium jalapeno, seeds partially removed, diced small (I used 2 pickled jalapenos)
3 Tbsp diced chives (I used green onion, finely chopped)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
coarse sea salt for topping

Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg.
Toss together the cheddar cheese, jalapeno, and chives.  Set aside.
Add butter to the flour mixture.  With your fingers or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour, breaking the small cubes into smaller bits.  Once the butter is well incorporated into the flour mixture, the flour will resemble coarse meal.  Some chunks will be the size of small pebbles, others will be the size of oat flakes.

Toss the cheese mixture into the flour mixture.  Create a small well in the center of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk mixture all at once.  Toss together with a fork making sure that all of the flour bits are moistened by the buttermilk.  Mixture will be shaggy.  Dump the biscuit dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 8-10 minutes, just to bring it together into a 1 1/2" circle.

Cut biscuits into squares or use a 2 1/2" circle biscuit cutter to cut into rounds.  If you don't have a round biscuit cutter, you can use a knife to cut the dough into 12 small squares.  Gather dough scraps, knead lightly, and cut out more biscuits until batter is gone.  Place biscuits on prepared baking sheets, brush with buttermilk, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Biscuits are best the day they're made, but can be wrapped, stored at room temperature, and served the next day as well.

Printer Friendly
Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
from Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes

for the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

for the filling;
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 (7 oz) container marshmallow creme
1/2 cup smooth all natural peanut butter
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted and salted peanuts

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  line a baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

To make the cookies, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.  Set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars until light and well incorporated, 3-5 minutes.  Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the egg and beat on low speed for 1 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed. With mixer running, slowly add the buttermilk.  When just incorporated, add the remaining four mixture.  Mix until just blended.  Finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula.

Spoon the batter by the heaping tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet.  leave at least an inch of space between the dough.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, until centers are cooked through but cookies are still soft and tender.

Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, marshmallow creme, peanut butter, and salt.  Beat until smooth and no butter lumps remain.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy.  Stop the mixer and remove the bowl.  Fold in the peanuts with a spatula.

When cookies have cooled, spread a scant 2 Tbsp of filling onto the bottom of one cookie.  Top with another similar sized cookie.  Fill all cookies and sandwich.  Cookies are best wrapped individually in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.

Whoopie pies will last, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for 5 days.

*This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*


  1. Wow, you were busy! I'm fixating on those whoopie pies, they look appropriately decadent and that filling does look insanely good. Great choices!

  2. Well you went above and beyond! I made the cheddar chive biscuits also and love them. Your whoopie pies look good also!

  3. Both recipes look like keepers for sure!

  4. wow is right... these look and sound amazing...
    noticed what I think is a increase of baking powder to flour ratio, this could be a nice plus

  5. Mmmmm.....I want the cheese and cheddar biscuits. NOW!

  6. ha ha ha...two fabulous choices! I have those biscuits marked to make, but somehow the whoopie pies slipped under my radar. Until now. YUM!

  7. Sweet! I must get some little sponsors too.

  8. Sharing's overated anyway ;) I had my eye on these whoopie pies just cause I love saying whoopie pies over and over ha ha!
    Great double post!!

  9. Love that you made two delicious recipes this week!

  10. Your improvised version of the biscuits look and sound fantastic! I love the way that these cookbook challenges provide a catalyst for our own culinary inspirations.

    Love your Valentine whoopie pies too! How apropos!


  11. I have heard such good things about those biscuits and yours look great! I also made the whoopie pies last night...addictive. Delicious. Amazing.

  12. After seeing everyone else's cheddar, chive, and jalapeno biscuits I simply have to make them.

    I've never made whoopie pies, but I can totally see myself making them too big as I near the end of the batter. After looking at these I think that would be a good thing!

  13. Wow, have been reading all the fantastic reviews on Joy's book! Everything looks amazing!

  14. two great choices I also made the cgeddar biscuits and they were awesome!!


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.