Valentine’s Day and Whoopie!
Since the Christmas whirlwind is over, you find yourself finally coming to a complete stop just to be looking Valentine’s Day right in the eye. And Valentine’s Day means romance, hearts, flowers, love, and yes whoopie…..But you can get your mind out of the gutter, because I’m not talking about that kind of whoopie. I’m talking about the whoopie cookies. Chocolate Cherry Whoopie Pies as a matter of fact.
Have you ever noticed every year when Valentine’s Day comes everything is cherry? Cherry doughnuts, cherry tootsie pops, cherry heart-shaped jelly beans, cherry cordials, cherry cordial chocolate kisses, etc… The list is endless. However, my inquiring mind wanted to know just what the cherry has to do with Valentine’s Day, and this is the kind of gutter-whoopie you were thinking about in the first paragraph. So to keep your interest, do you know the history behind the Cherry Cordial? Keep your mind in the gutter for a while longer yet, this will be some good reading.
The Cherry Cordial – a chocolate covered cherry filled with a sweet syrup.
But the cordial goes farther back than the sweet treat we know of today. The word “cordial” has the word “cor” in it, which means “heart” in Latin. If you use it as a noun, cordial can mean medicine or medicinal food or drink. Cordial was originally used as a type of medicine tonic. Did you know that? Cordial medicines were believed to stimulate the heart to improve blood flow. Get the circulation moving. Get the blood to where it needs to be quickly…..If you get my drift.
The medicine use of cordials continued until the 1400’s when it arrived in England. The cordial medicines were taken after eating excessively to settle the stomach and aid in digestion. But they weren’t always known for indigestion cures, they were also considered an aphrodisiac. By the 1700’s cordials were becoming known for their intoxicating effects as well, which probably helped with the aphrodisiac thing (fewer unacceptable thoughts and desires, if you know what I mean). That was England! The land of love, right?
Now in America, the cordial was used to describe a particular type of strong liqueur with a distinctive flavor made by crushing whole cherries and steeping them in a sugar syrup with a bit of alcohol (which can still trigger unacceptable thoughts and desires…..). Americans moved toward their own special cordial, the cordial candy. Cherry Cordials are made with a chocolate shell coating. The chocolate shell is filled with cordial or sugar syrup and a cherry.
That is why everything is cherry at Valentine’s Day. And if you feel like feeling lucky…..buy the sweetie a box of Cordial Cherries, get the blood flowing….
Which leads us to the whoopie!
Chocolate Cherry Whoopie Pie, that is…..
- The Cookie:
- 1/2 c. shortening
- 1 c. white sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 5 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder (Randi used Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 c. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- The Filling:
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (room temp)
- 1/4 c. butter (room temp)
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 c. heaping cherry pie filling (run this through the mini chopper or blender)
- 4 c. confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets,
- In a large bowl cream shortening, sugar, and egg.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well. Add vanilla extract at the end.
- Drop by large spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes (until tops crack). Let sit on cookie sheet for a few minutes, remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.
- Cream together the cream cheese, butter, and cherry pie filling. Add confectioners’ sugar while mixing. Add the almond extract last.
- Place a small amount of cream mixture on the bottom of the completely cooled chocolate cookie. Place another cookie on top (both bottoms together).
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