Gingersnap Whoopie Pies with Cranberry Orange Ganache


I recently moved out of Philadelphia and back to my family's bed & breakfast the Bridgeton House on the Delaware in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. Our 1836 Inn overlooks the Delaware River and is riddled with my childhood memories. I remember all the incarnations of the Inn's kitchen and I always loved sitting at the counter, watching the chef prepare breakfast, but mostly I was in it for the cakes & cookies. 

Today was the first day I had free reign of the kitchen and prepared breakfast for the guests. While mastering my omelet game & making pumpkin cornbread waffles, I made a simple cranberry orange compote. After breakfast was all said and done it was time to make cookies for tea time (my dream). I decided to make a simple ginger snap but also wanted to get rid of my excess cranberry sauce. After baking off the snaps, I decided to take the compote add a little sugar and cream cheese and make a filling for whoopie pies! The color alone is super fun and they taste even better.  

Gingersnap Whoopie Pies with Cranberry Orange Ganache 


makes about 4 dozen cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon table salt

3 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1/3 cup unsulphured molasses


Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Slowly add the egg and molasses and beat until combined, scraping the edges of the bowl often. Slowly add dry ingredients and scrape sides of bowl until mixed. Transfer dough into plastic wrap and refrigerate for and hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350. With a small ice cream scoop or spoon, roll into 1 inch balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until deep brown. Sprinkle with Turbinado suagr for a festive pop.

Cranberry Orange Ganache

3 cups Fresh Cranberries

1 or 1/2 cup Maple Syrup

Zest of 1 Orange

1/2 cup Cream Cheese

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add cranberries and simmer until berries burst and release juices(5-10 minutes). Add zest and syrup to taste and let cool. In a mixing bowl, add the cranberry mixture and cream cheese and combine. 



Take two like sized ginger snaps and place about a tablespoon of the ganache in the center. Press together and practice serious self control in trying not to eat them all!

Momma's Fall Stew

As a child in my hometown of Upper Black Eddy, the smell of wood smoke filled the air as the weather turned bitterly cold and like always, as the season change, so do my cravings, and theres nothing like my mom's cooking. My all time favorite meal she makes is her fall stew. I would come home cold and hungry after school and a big bowl of stew would always set me right. Obviously this dish is super sentimental for me but it is also a big hit with my friends. It is a very basic and simple stew but has great depth of flavor is easy to whip up and perfect for cold weather. I hope this becomes a favorite in your family too.


BY BEA BRIGGS This is an excellent flexible recipe. It was given to me by my friend Leila. She had given me a large pot of it right after our first child was born and as exhausted new parents, what a delight it was to open the fridge & find these leftovers. I treasure the scribbled recipe she gave me & I have continued the tradition of giving this to new parents, friends in need & neighbors. But it feeds a crowd of about 6 hungry people, usually with leftovers, so it is great when ever the seasons change!

Momma's Fall Stew

3 pound Brisket (or chuck roast)

6 cups water

1 bottle red wine

1 can tomatoes(12 oz) ( sauce, puree, paste or can )

3-4 onions roughly, chopped

5-6 cloves garlic, chopped

4-6 carrots, chopped into 2 inch discs

1 pound mushrooms(button), quartered

4-6 red potatoes quartered (if small leave whole, be sure all are the same size so they cook evenly)

3 tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt, pepper, herbes, bay leaf, to taste


In a large pot with lid, over medium high heat, add olive oil. Salt & pepper meat well on both sides. Sear in pot, on both sides & remove from pot. Add chopped onions & garlic to the pot & saute until golden. Return meat back to pot and add water, wine and tomatoes, being sure that the meat is covered. Add bay leaf & favorite herbs such as  herbes de provence e or a basil/oregano mix. Season wtih salt pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low simmer. You can also put in oven at 350, if your pot is oven proof. Cook for one hour. Remove meat & slice into 1/4 inch long slices. Return meat to pot and add carrots, mushrooms & potatoes. Cover and cook for an additional hour on low heat. Taste and add more salt & pepper, if needed.

Momma's notes

As you can tell this is a very flexible recipe. The measurements are not exact, if you like more wine, I have added a whole bottle, sometimes I have used just water & tomato sauce. Other times water, wine & a little tomato. So what ever you have on hand will make the liquid ( I have even used V-8 juice). The acid in the wine & tomato helps break down the meat. You just want the meat to be covered by liquid. This was traditionally made with 1st cut brisket, which has more fat running through it & made a nice roast out of a cheaper piece of meat. If you like carrots more than mushrooms add more, ditto with potatoes. This is a pretty fail proof recipe, so after you make it a few times you get it. Use what you have & like. It gets better each day, as the flavors work. I like to serve it with green beans or sautéed kale and don't forget the sour cream!


Spiced Sweet Potato Bisque


Soup always makes a rough day right. I have been working tirelessly on many a food project and by the time I roll home in the wee hours of the night, nothing does me right like a solid bowl of sweet potato bisque. I have recently fell in love with steaming veggies like squash and potatoes. I find that it gives you more control of the texture, in that you can easily check on them, you use half the water you would when boiling and you get an awesome concentrated stock out of the process! This soup is super easy and can be taken in any direction. I decided to add a little protein and used a chicken stock, but it can easily be vegetarian. I also went for really aromatic spices and suspect that this would also make a great curry. 

Spiced Sweet Potato Bisque  

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered

5 cups stock (vegetable or chicken) 

3 gloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup cream

1 teaspoons of turmeric, curry, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder

salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot with a steam basket, boil roughly 3 cups of water. Add quartered sweet potatoes and steam until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Remove basket and keep remaining liquid. Add potatoes and mash until smooth. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Season to taste and and top with garnish.  

Suggested Toppings

2 apples, diced

1 large onion, diced

cooked ground turkey or your favorite sausage

In a skillet sauté apples and onions until golden.