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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Irish Coffee Gobs with Baileys Filling

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Gobba Gobba WHAT?! That was my initial reaction when I unwrapped the Gobba Gobba Hey cookbook from my mom, an early Valentine's Day gift. The book is without any photographs, so it wasn't until I read through the introduction that I started to understand just what these "gobs" were all about.
In short, gobs are cake-like confections, similar to a whoopie pie (cookbook author Steven Gdula calls them "a cupcake sandwich, but without any crumbs"). Rumor has it they originated in Pennsylvania and when Steven began selling them out of a food cart on the streets of San Francisco, people went crazy for them. He's since stopped selling them, but I'm thrilled to be in possession of his cookbook so that I can now keep spreading the gob love!
I was torn over which of the fifty-two variations to try first. The original chocolate and vanilla? The orange, cranberry, and walnut? The root beer float? In due time, all will be made, but I decided to start with the Irish Coffee Gobs, appropriate with St. Patricks Day just around the corner.

These are putsy to make, with several steps. However, I followed each of them perfectly, down to sifting my dry ingredients (confession: I never do that, even when the recipe calls for it!) and wrapping each gob individually in plastic wrap (Steven was right, it really does keep them fresh and held the cake and filling flavors together to mesh!).

In the end? Totally worth it! You might remember that Ryan tends to be anti-cake and cupcake...apparently gobs don't fall in that category. More than once he asked me, "what makes these so good?" I'm going to go with the Baileys, and the Irish Whiskey. I could just drink the filling! They definitely taste best after they've had time to sit in the fridge, which makes them a great make ahead treat.

This isn't a 'throw together in 20 minutes' dessert, but set aside some time and give them a try. You won't be disappointed, cross my heart!

One Year Ago: Cranberry Orange Butter Granola Bars
Two Years Ago: Bookworm Cupcakes

Irish Coffee Gobs with Baileys Filling
from the Gobba Gobba Hey cookbook
*makes about 30 gobs (sandwiches)

for the batter-
-4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
-2 tbsp espresso powder
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-2 cups sugar, sifted
-8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-2 eggs, separated, at room temperature
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
-2-3 tbsp sour cream

for the filling-
-8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-12 tbsp cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
-2-3 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
-1-2 tbsp Irish Whiskey
-2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients until they're well-mixed.
3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-speed. Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture and mix on medium until incorporated. Add the egg whites and the vanilla, and mix on medium-high until the mixture looks like dense pudding.
4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the egg mixture, mixing on medium speed after each addition. Then add the sour cream and mix well.
5. Using a tablespoon or a pastry bag (I recommend the pastry bag if you want perfectly round gobs), drop 1 1/2 inch rounds of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between each. Bake the sheets (separately) for 8 minutes, or until the gob domes have risen. Remove the gobs to a wire rack to cool.
6. To make the filling, cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed. Add the vanilla, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp Baileys, 2 tbsp whiskey, and the confectioners' sugar. Beat on medium-high, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add another tsp of lemon juice or an additional tbsp of Baileys or whiskey after tasting, if needed.
7. To frost the gobs, add 1 tbsp of the filling to the flat side of a gob and pair with the flat side of another (evenly sized) gob. Refrigerate gobs on a baking sheet for 30 min to an hour to fully set. When ready to store, wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.