Favorite treats

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Growing up I wasn’t crazy about Valentine’s Day. The stress of making cards for everyone, worrying whether I’d get any cards or candy from friends and classmates made me dread the day. As a young married adult I began to appreciate the day for what it symbolized – a day for showing love, especially to my family.

One thing that made it stand out in the calendar year of celebrations is that it wasn’t highly commercialized, there weren’t great expectations for gifts, fixing a huge feast for family or going anywhere in particular. We keep it simple, sometimes giving each other cards, candy and/or flowers but for the most part the goodies are homemade. I don’t expect a card from Ed or my kids; if they surprise me with one I’m thrilled. Ever since the early years of our marriage I’ve made Rice Krispy Treats with a twist: pack the marshmallow rice mixture into a well buttered funnel for huge Kisses. This year I added some Strawberry Milk syrup to the mix. 004
Ed’s mom & grandmother used to make Gobs for special occasions. His mom sometimes grumbled about the amount of work that went into something so quickly devoured by the family, none the less, she took pride in making them and made sure that I had the recipe shortly after we were married.

As soon as Violet went down for her morning nap the milk and flour mixture were being stirred into a thick mass on the stove then poured on to a plate to cool. (Detour to put on the last coat of finish onto spindles then wipe them off and remove them from the drying rack which Ed needed, & continue to feed blank dvds into the duplicator to burn more Learn to Spin in prep for the show on the 23rd.)  Next step, measure out the dry ingredients, mix the coconut oil (instead of shortening), sugar, add eggs and boil some water. The buttermilk chocolate cake recipe uses the old fashioned method of adding liquids and dry ingredients in alternating batches. The oven was heated and parchment paper laid onto cookie sheets and I was just about to  start blending the dry ingredients and the buttermilk when I heard a wee voice calling from the bedroom. Good timing! For once the process begins it’s good to get the cakes into the oven as quickly as possible. Violet was happy to hang out in the sling I’d made two weeks ago when she took to speedily crawling everywhere, and supervise the mixing of the cake batter. Watching the spoonfuls being dumped onto the cookie sheets was just as entertaining. Then to her utter astonishment, she had her first taste of chocolate lickings. No doubt about it, this is good stuff!

005During her afternoon nap the filling was completed and spread between two cakes. Part way through I added strawberry milk powder, for color and flavor. Hey, one can’t really go wrong with a strawberry cream cheese spread.

Ed likes Gobs kept in the freezer, the way his mom kept them, so some were placed in a large container and put in the freezer, some were placed in a large cookie tin for Aurora to take home. (I was surprised to learn that most people seem to know these as Whoopie Pies.)

Here’s the recipe which Ed grandmother used to make when her children were young, my modifications are in parentheses.

1st part of Gob Filling
1 C Milk
5 Tablespoons Flour
Bring milk and flour to boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly (ignore the temptation not to stir) until thick. It usually takes about 10 minutes. Have a cup of coffee at hand, and even a book to read – as long as you keep stirring. Pour onto a dinner plate, cover with plastic wrap (try to keep it from touching the filling) and put into the fridge until ready to make the filling.

Gobs Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease two cookie sheets (parchment paper)
In Mixing bowl:
2 C sugar
1/2 C shortening  (Butter or natural coconut oil – which is solid at room temperature)
2 eggs
Beat sugar and shortening (butter) together, add eggs and beat until light & fluffy

In medium sized bowl:
3 3/4 C Flour
2 teas Baking Soda
1/2 C Cocoa
1/2 teas Baking Powder
1/2 teas Salt
Sift together (Mix with fork)

1 C Buttermilk or Sour Milk – add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice to 1 scant C of milk and let stand. (Or, Buttermilk Powder: mix it in with the dry ingredients and use 1 C water)

Add flour mixture alternating with Buttermilk (Water if using powder) Mix about 1/3 the dry ingredients into the sugar/butter/egg batter, stir well, add 1/2 the buttermilk incorporate well, add another 1/3rd dry mixture and mix, add the remaining buttermilk and mix well, add the last of the dry stuff and mix thoroughly.

1/2 C Boiling Water
2 teas Vanilla
Add to the batter. Stir until well blended but don’t beat.

Drop by generous spoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake until done.  About 12 – 14 minutes, test with a toothpick, you don’t want these gooey. Remove immediately and place onto cooling rack.
Since these are big and will spread a little you’ll need to do them in batches. I usually get around 32 – 36, half the number when put together with the filling.

When they’re completely cooled spread on the filling:
Gob Filling, Part 2:
Scrape the refrigerated Milk/Flour mix into the mixing bowl and beat well to remove any lumps
2/3 C Butter (1/3 C Butter, 1/3 C Cream Cheese) Room temperature
Beat well, add:
1 C Powdered Suger
Beat for about 5 minutes then add,
1 teas Vanilla

Spread onto half of the cookies and put together. Freeze if you like. Or, Eat Immediately! 🙂

There are a lot of steps and it can seem daunting but they’re really not hard to make, just somewhat time-consuming.

For another Valentine treat I made Raw Almond Chocolate Balls which Aurora declared that she would not share with anyone else.
1 C Raw Almonds ground into flour (a coffee grinder works great)
3/4 C Cocoa (aka Cacao)
1/4 C ground coconut, or coconut flour (optional)
1/2 C Honey
Mix all together (hands work great for mixing this!) Roll into balls and roll in more almond flour or coarsely chopped almonds or ground coconut. Enjoy!