Monthly Archives: November 2012

Greatest Generation

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 4,649 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—5,730 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

Earning this badge was one I was looking forward to, and one I could have earned dozens of times over when I was just a little sprout: spending time with the senior citizens in my life. See, as a youngster, whenever I went through a phase (cheerleading, clarinet, ballet, choir, underwater basket weaving), I would take my new skills to the local retirement home for polishing. I found there to be a good mix of love and support, and tell-it-like-it-is truthfulness, disguised in blue-haired ladies and no-haired gentlemen. It was nice for them, and valuable for me. I made lots of friends of the grandparent variety, and they got a little something to look forward to after school on Fridays. At least I think they looked forward to it …

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Day 2: hostess ORGANIC cupcakes

And now … the cat’s meow of Hostess!!! (Yesterday, I shared my twinkie recipe.)


Copyright MARYJANESFARM Magazine, April/May 2010
PREP TIME: 1 hour
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
MAKES: 12 cupcakes

1    cup organic flour (I use the quality specialty flour that I sell. I’m just saying. If you start introducing variables, I can’t guarantee you’ll meet with perfection like I did.)
½   cup organic unsweetened baking cocoa
¾   t baking soda
¼   t baking powder (non-aluminum)
¼   t salt
¼   cup organic butter, softened
¾   cup organic sugar
2    eggs, at room temperature
½   t organic vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar, then beat in eggs and vanilla.
4. Fold flour mixture into wet ingredients until well combined.
5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18–20 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack.
6. Once cool, fill with my Organic Cream Filling (inject into the bottom by punching a small hole through the paper liner), ice with Chocolate Glaze, and decorate with swirls of White Frosting (recipes below).

Substitute organic white rice flour (, use ½ t baking powder, and use 3 eggs.

MaryJane’s Organic CREAM FILLING
¾    cup organic sugar
½    t cream of tartar
¼    cup water
1     T light organic corn syrup
2     egg whites, at room temperature
1     t organic vanilla extract

1. In small saucepan, combine sugar, cream of tartar, water, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, and using a candy thermometer, cook until mixture reaches 230°F. (Do not stir while mixture comes up to temperature).
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
3. Slowly pour hot syrup into egg whites while beating. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add vanilla and beat 5–7 more minutes, until stiff peaks form.
4. Put filling into a cake decorator, using a #7 tip (or use the frosting/cream filling kit that comes with the canoe pan from yesterday’s post), and gently inject filling into bottom of cupcake by punching a small hole in the paper liner.

MaryJane’s Organic CHOCOLATE GLAZE
1½  t organic corn syrup
¼   cup organic heavy cream
2    oz organic dark chocolate (approx. ½ cup), broken into small pieces

1. In a small saucepan, combine corn syrup and cream and heat to just before boiling.
2. Place chocolate in a medium bowl, pour hot liquid over, and stir until chocolate is melted.
3. Dip tops of cooled, filled cupcakes into warm glaze. Let glaze cool, then decorate with White Frosting.

½  cup powdered sugar
1   T organic milk

1. In a small bowl, combine ingredients and mix well.
2. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip and decorate tops with swirls. (This takes a bit of practice. Get-your-swirl-on by perfecting it first on the bottom of a bowl.) -Copyright MARYJANESFARM Magazine, April/May 2010



Want to STITCH some hostess goodness? The instructions for the goodies pictured here can be found in the 2010 April/May issue of my magazine, MaryJanesFarm. Here’s where you can order that back issue as part of a bundle.

Day 1: Hello ORGANIC twinkies!

Did you miss my recipes for ORGANIC hostess treats, whoopie pies, cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (you know what I’m talking about), etc. that were published in the 2010 April/May MaryJanesFarm magazine “Garden Secrets” issue?

With all the recent hubbub about Hostess going under, it felt like the perfect time to dig out my homemade hostess recipes and share them with you. Should you need a twinkie fix … and the company can’t provide or … OR, you want to eat an organic, better-for-you twinkie, I’ve got you covered. (I don’t want you going all Woody-Harrelson-in-Zombieland on me.) How ironic is it that the company who makes Twinkies, the yellow spongy cake that will supposedly last for an eternity, is going bankrupt around the end of the Mayan calender on Dec. 21st? Many people have taken this to mean it’s seriously the end of the world. I might make myself a foil hat and dance around while eating homemade ORGANIC twinkies! (My organic version doesn’t last forever anyway.)

While in my kitchen late one night in 2010, my first attempt to make a cream-filled “canoe” gave me fits.

But after two days and an embarrassing amount of not-quite-right cake that I fed to my compost, I finally got it right. It’s a recipe for only 8 treats (the indents in a NorPro canoe pan) because the key is how some of the wet ingredients are whipped just before you fold in the final ingredients. The second half didn’t come out of the oven as light and airy (because it sat on the counter waiting for its turn in the oven). So here’s my tip: Follow my recipe to the T, even my instructions to lightly butter the pan. Oil spray didn’t work as well. If you want to double the recipe, you’re going to need two pans so they can both go into the oven at the same time.

You’ll need a “Cream Canoe” pan (below, I bought mine on Amazon). The canoe pan comes with a 9-piece decorating set, perfect for injecting a creamy surprise inside or putting a swirl on top (stay tuned for my hostess cupcakes recipe coming tomorrow).


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Over the River

Over the river, and through the wood

To _____________ we go!

The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh

Through the white and drifted snow.

Photo courtesy of Gnadenalm via Wikimedia Commons








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Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

The featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Barbara Roberts!

Barbara Roberts, (Healthy Eating #2237) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level BakeOver MakeOver badge.

“Using MaryJane’s special recipe edition of her magazine, I tried out a few of her recipes for BakeOvers. Using what was at the end of the season from my garden, in a “must-go” manner, I put whatever I had in a base of sautéd garlic and onions and added crab meat which we had just bought. On top of that I put raw Havarti cheese which made it decadently wonderful

I took two of them (a dinner one and a dessert one) to two different Craft-in nights we had with the Farm Girls and let them try out the flavors.”

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Giving Thanks for Helen & Allen Butters