beets

Surprise Ingredient Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies

I always get a smile when I offer someone a Whoopie Pie. Although baked liked cookies, Whoopie Pies are really more like small cakes, held together with a soft and creamy filling.

I added an unexpected ingredient to these, but it worked out pretty well. I added cooked, shredded beets.  I make a chocolate beet cake, so adding beets to baked goods is something I have done before.

I had been given a large quantity of beets a while back. I canned, dried and froze a lot of them. I decided to use one of the frozen beets to make these Whoopie Pies. I just thawed it out- it was cooked before freezing- and shredded it up.

It worked out well. They are really moist. They really aren’t much different from the original recipe, except moister and with a slight reddish hue. I am surprising my neighbor with them later. She did something really nice for me, and I wanted to thank her. She loves beets and chocolate- so it seemed like a good idea.

Here is the recipe for my beet version, and the original recipe, too. Just in case you don’t have cooked shredded beets laying around.

Chocolate Beet Whoopie Pies

Cookies:
2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp.
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
½ c. cocoa
2/3 c. half and half or milk
½ c. cooked shredded beets
Cream filling
3 T. flour
1 c. milk
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 t. vanilla
2 1/4 c. powdered sugar

Heat oven to 375-degrees. Line baking sheets with foil and coat with non-stick spray. Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat in vanilla and eggs then beat in cocoa. Beat in beets. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk. Drop 2 tablespoons of dough on prepared sheets for each cookie, spacing 3 inches apart. Shape into 2 1/4-inch rounds, trying to keep them even as they will be sandwich cookies later. Bake 12-14 minutes, cookies should spring back when touched lightly. Let sit on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to rack to cool. Prepare filling: Combine flour and milk in saucepan until smooth. Heat over medium, stirring until thickened and bubbly. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Place wax paper directly on surface of the mixture and let sit until cool to the touch about 45 minutes. Beat in remaining butter, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. Sandwich cookies together in pairs with about 2 tablespoons of the filling. Store between wax paper in airtight container. Makes 15.

Whoopie Pies

Cookies:
2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp.
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 c. cocoa
3/4 c. milk
Cream filling
3 T. flour
1 c. milk
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 t. vanilla
2 1/4 c. powdered sugar
Heat oven to 375-degrees. Line baking sheets with foil and coat with non-stick spray. Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat in vanilla and eggs then beat in cocoa. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk. Drop 2 tablespoons of dough on prepared sheets for each cookie, spacing 3 inches apart. Shape into 2 1/4-inch rounds, trying to keep them even as they will be sandwich cookies later. Bake 12-14 minutes, cookies should spring back when touched lightly. Let sit on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to rack to cool. Prepare filling: Combine flour and milk in saucepan until smooth. Heat over medium, stirring until thickened and bubbly. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Place wax paper directly on surface of the mixture and let sit until cool to the touch about 45 minutes. Beat in remaining butter, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. Sandwich cookies together in pairs with about 2 tablespoons of the filling. Store between wax paper in airtight container. Makes 15.

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

I got a great number of beets a couple of days ago.  I will be canning many over the weekend, but I also want to enjoy them fresh. Decided to roast some beets and then go from there. To roast beets: just wash them and trim off the greens- leaving about an inch of the stems to reduce bleeding.

My beets don’t have their greens, but trim off, if they do. The beet greens could be added to the salad.

Place beets in a roasting pan and drizzle with a little oil. I used avocado oil. Cover pan and place in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Smaller beets will be cooked in less time- about 35 minutes. Really large beets could take up to an hour. I always check by poking one of the beets with a fork. Let the beets cool a little and then remove the peels. I use a knife to do this. They come off quite easily.

I used three small beets to make this salad for lunch. I shared it with a neighbor.

Roasted Beet Salad

1 small head Bibb lettuce, washed and sliced into thin slices

2 c. spinach, torn into bite sized pieces

1/4 c. olive oil

3 T. red wine vinegar

2 t. sugar, optional

3 small roasted beets, peeled

1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

1/4 c. hulled pumpkin seeds, toasted

1/4 c. dried cherries

coarse sea salt- I used pink salt

Place lettuce in a mixing bowl. Combine olive oil with vinegar and sugar, if using. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss over the greens. Slice beets. Divide greens on 2 salad plates. Arrange half of the beets on each salad and top with the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle with a few grains of the sea salt and serve. Makes 2 luncheon salads.

Spicy Pickled Beets

Spicy Pickled Beets

Beets are just one of those foods. People seem to love them, or hate them. I am a beet lover. I enjoy them in all sorts of dishes. The nice thing about making a batch of pickled beets is being able to open up a jar whenever you want.

This recipe is a pretty classic way to preserve beets. The brine is a sweet and sour mixture with pickling spice, salt and red pepper flakes for added flavor. You could play around with the seasonings a little. Maybe adding more heat.

Pickled beets are great served as a side dish with all sorts of foods. I like them served with cheeses, crackers and other pickled foods as an appetizer. If you don’t want to can them- you can store them in the fridge for up to a couple of months.

 

Spicy Pickled Beets

 

4 lbs. beets, smaller sizes preferred

3 c. thin sliced onions

2 c. sugar

2 T. Pickling spice

1 T. canning salt

2 t. red pepper flakes

2½ c. cider vinegar- 5% acidity

1½ c. water

 

Wash and trim beets, leaving a couple inches of stem attached. Cook in boiling water until tender. Cool beets down so you can handle them. Peel beets and cut into 1½- 2-inch diameter pieces, if beets are large. Leave whole if beets are small. Set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and simmer 5 more minutes. Add beets and cook a few minutes, until beets are warmed through. Ladle hot beets into clean pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Ladle in hot liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe off rim, screw on lid to finger-tip tightness. Repeat with remaining beets and liquid. You should fill about 5 pint jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave jars in water bath 5 minutes before removing to counter to cool.  Yield: 5 pints.

Adapted from The Ball Blue Book

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

I got these beautiful beets a couple of days ago. Very fresh and the leaves are even dark red. I had been thinking of how I wanted to cook them. Decided to roast them and then go from there. To roast beets just wash them and trim off the greens- leaving about an inch of the stems to reduce bleeding. Place beets in a roasting pan and drizzle with a little oil. Cover pan and place in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Smaller beets will be cooked in less time- about 35 minutes. Really large beets could take up to an hour. I always check by poking one of the beets with a fork. Let the beets cool a little and then remove the peels. I use a knife to do this. They come off quite easily.

Now I just had to decide how to use them. I decided to use three of the small ones to make a salad for myself and a friend. Here is the recipe.

Roasted Beet Salad

1 small head Bibb lettuce, washed and sliced into thin slices

2 c. beet greens, washed and sliced thin

1/4 c. olive oil

3 T. red wine vinegar

2 t. sugar, optional

3 small roasted beets

1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

1/4 c. hulled pumpkin seeds, toasted

1/4 c. dried cranberries

sliced cooked steak, optional

coarse sea salt- I used pink salt

Combine lettuce and beet greens in a mixing bowl. Combine olive oil with vinegar and sugar, if using. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss over the greens. Slice beets. Divide greens on 2 salad plates. Arrange half of the beets on each salad and top with the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle with a few grains of the sea salt and serve. Makes 2 luncheon salads.

Roasted Beet Salad with Steak

Roasted Beet Salad with Steak

My very red beets

My very red beets

Beet and Carrot Salad

Beet and Carrot Salad

Beet and Carrot Salad

I enjoy the sweetness of both beets and carrots. This simple and tasty dish combines the earthy flavors of both vegetables in a simple, raw salad. It’s a great side dish and nice to make on a day when it is too hot to cook.

 Beet and Carrot Salad

1 large- or 2 medium- beets

2 large carrots

4 T. olive oil

4 T. cider vinegar

2 T. honey, or to taste

1 t. fresh dill weed or about 1/2 t. dried

dash of hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Peel beets and shred or grate them using a hand grater or food processor. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside. Peel and shred the carrots and add to the beets. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the beet mixture. Stir to coat and chill until ready to serve. Makes about 3 cups.

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