Halloween. Not such a big deal in the Land Down Under but it’s always fun to play dressups. I ran up a cute LBD but didn’t have anyone to take photos of me in it.
- Simplicity Pattern #4675 (Included the little handbag pattern)
- Black crinkle broderie – Spotlight, $6.95/metre
- Mint green ¾ tights, $6, K-Mart
- Green hairpiece, $5, Paddy’s Markets
- Green metallic eyeshadow, $3, Priceline
- Plush monkey, $9, Big W (like Elphaba I sewed the wings on myself!)
- Fat quarter of purple flying witch print, $2.50, The Remnant Warehouse
- The fact that no-one at the party realised I was the Wicked Witch of the West – Priceless.
Worse, I forgot to wear the witch’s hat I’d bought specially!!
And I made Chocolate Spiced-Pumpkin ‘Whoopie Pies’. However there was so much food at this party that the whoopie pies didn’t even make it out of the esky.
Before I made them, I wondered at the name. Why ‘whoopie’? I get the ‘pie’ bit, cos it’s got a filling. But after covering every available surface in my kitchen with cooling biscuits, I realised. By the time you have finished making the bloody things, you want to yell whoopieeeee!!
Not to worry. There are plenty of half-starved hardworking souls at my workplace and the 30-odd filled ‘pies’ probably won’t even last until lunchtime.
This is what they are made of. (Recipe adapted slightly from here.) They made a massive batch, and the biscuits themselves were pretty large. I think I could comfortably have made a half-recipe, smallerized the biscuits and still had enough to feed a small African country.
For The Biscuity Bits
- 3 ½ cups plain flour
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I used about ⅓ cup Van Houten Cacao and ⅓ cup Nestle baking Cocoa)
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt (I used lake salt. Oh, calamity…)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup vegetable shortening (I used olive spread, which is probably why my biscuits were quite soft and sticky)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 190ºC. Line baking trays with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder & salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening and sugars until creamy. (The recipe called for a paddle attachment, but my standard beaters seemed to work just fine.)
Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat for a couple of minutes.
Alternately add in the flour and milk, finishing with the flour. This is another reason why I love my electric mixer.
Spoon out onto the baking trays. The recipe recommended ‘tablespoon-sized mounds’ but after a few goes I found a just-rounded dessertspoon yielded a biscuit about 6-7cm across. They spread quite substantially too so leave plenty of room in between.
For the Spiced Pumpkin Filling
- 350g cream cheese (Philly light worked fine)
- 125g unsalted butter
- 1 – 1 ½ cups icing sugar
- ¾ cup pureed pumpkin*
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp nutmeg
Beat cream cheese, butter & sugar until creamy. Add in the spices and pumpkin; beat until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before sandwiching the biscuits together.
*The original recipe called for canned pumpkin but of course that’s not so common here in Oz. (Although we did find some at the chocolate warehouse. Go figure.) So I used butternut pumpkin, about ¼ of a medium-sized one, cut into chunks and steamed (in my retro Tupperware steamer, $7 from the op shop! yeah!). Let it cool to room temp before puree-ing, otherwise it may go runny.
Mine did not turn out as bright orange as the original, more a sort of pastel colour. If you wanted bright orange, I have no doubt some food colouring would do the trick. I think mine look pretty though. Oh, yes, and they were delicious! The ‘biscuits’ were soft and cakey and the filling was a really interesting flavour counterpoint. I might make them again…. but possibly in a smaller batch!
Blogged to the tune of – Wicked, The Broadway Musical