Sunday, October 31, 2010

hey soul sister

I know, I know.

It's been a while since I've updated you on my ever-so-interesting life.

I'm sorry.

There, I apologized.  Moving on...

A few months ago, a discussion with friends took a rather serious turn when the topic of child trafficking was brought up.  Before that conversation, I was unaware of what a huge problem this is just 30 minutes from where I live!  Atlanta is one of the largest hubs for child trafficking in the U.S., and it is a 32 billion dollar a year industry worldwide.

As most of you know, I have a hard time 'letting things go.'  This was one of those things.

I went home and began doing some research.

I came across an organization based out of New York called Stop Child Trafficking Now.  They are set up to raise awareness and  help stop child trafficking in the U.S.

This year, on October 2, SCTNow held a 'walk day' in communities across the country.  Although we weren't able to walk because of prior engagements, we were still able to create a team and raise money.

T and I came up with  Cupcakes in the Crosswalk.  Each week one of us would bring baked goods in to work in exchange for donations to SCTNow.  This was a perfect opportunity to try out some new recipes. 

I have read about whoopie pies in blogs for quite a while now but had never even eaten one before.  Apparently, they are more common in the north, but I thought I'd give them a try anyways ;)

I found a recipe in Betty Crocker's Fall Baking (the Bakerella issue!) for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.  After several test batches and a few minor adjustments, my co-workers (and my fellow tailgaters) were able to welcome fall with this delicious pumpkin creation.

Now, I must give credit where credit is due...

Thank you Pennsylvania Amish women.  Your contribution to the baking world is greatly appreciated.

Thank you to my generous co-workers and anonymous donors.  Because of your donations, we were able to raise $205!  Enough money to support 8 Special Operative Teams!  Y'all are awesome!  I cannot thank you enough!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (my substitutions in red)
1 pouch/box sugar cookie mix
1 tbsp flour (1 tbsp Pumpkin Spice pudding mix)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (2 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
1 egg

1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar (1 3/4 cups powdered sugar)

1.  Heat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, stir together cookie mix and flour.  Add remaining cookie ingredients; stir until stiff dough forms.
2.  Onto ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart.  Lightly press tops with floured fingertips to flatten slightly.
3.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.  Cool completely (about 15 minutes).
4.  In a medium bowl, beat 1/4 cup butter, cream cheese, and vanilla with electric mixture until blended.  Gradually add in powdered sugar on low speed until smooth. 
5.  Spoon 1 generous tablespoon of filling on bottom of one cookie.  Top with second cookie, bottom side down.  Gently press together.  Store covered in refrigerator.