The Pioneer Woman

“But there’s always a first time for everything”
Melissa de la Cruz

Oatmeal Nutella WhoopiesThese were cookies whoopies waiting to happen! One look at the inbox a few weeks ago and the Pioneer Woman had me bookmarking again. There’s loads of make-able stuff that Ree constantly churns out, and oatmeal in whoopies were right up my street. A few days ago we had Oatmeal Nutella Whoopie Pies!Oatmeal Nutella Whoopie Pies Whoopie pies are sweet baked delights that are a cross between a soft cookie and cake or pie, basically a set of cookies whoopies sandwiched together with a frosting. As expected they were a hit with the teens! It’s amazing how comfort food can bring out the kids in young adults. Both the ‘now much taller than me kids’ grabbed a pair each, pulled the cookies apart and proceeded to lick the frosting, savouring every Nutella lick. Then it was time to demolish whatever was left!!Oatmeal Nutella Whoopies PiesI took a small nibble of the unfrosted cookies and they were quite nice. Maybe I’ll skip the cinnamon next time as it reminds me of warm winter days. I think an orange zest kick would make yum summer whoopie pies! Mmmm, maybe that’s an idea since brown sugar, orange and chocolate are a good pairing.Oatmeal Nutella Whoopies PiesThe cookies were a tad on the sweeter side according to Mr PAB, so I’ll cut back the sugar next time. They disappeared really quick as I could see hungry eyes pick out the box from the fridge to devour the pies. I refrigerated them as the Indian summer has really kicked in, 42C and rising! Won’t even begin to tell you about the nonsensical and irrational power cuts…. sigh! Heat & Dust = North Indian Summer!Old Delhi, Purani Dilli It’s the beginning of a tough summer; a long hot month ahead before the monsoons get here. Then it’ll be hot + humid! On my list of things to do was a visit to Old Delhi which I managed a few days ago before the heat became unbearable. My Mum had some work there so I happily tagged along … Brass teapot, Old DelhiOld Delhi, Purani Dilli I bought this charming brass teapot {pictured with the whoopie pies} from a shop near Jama Masjid. I also climbed up rickety old ladders and pulled out vintage handmade copper boxes from a dusty old shop that sold copper by the weight. We had a wonderful local guide who walked us through quaint places, like Mohalla Kabristan which quite literally translates into ‘Graveyard Colony‘.Old Delhi, Purani Dilli It was an uncanny feeling having to walk nonchalantly around graves that lay in your path! This little colony was built ages ago around old graves that dot cemented streets. Goats languish lazily around every possible corner, heat, dust and more dust, shops that sell everything under the sun … beads, incense, bottles, cookware, bangles, buckets, cloth, paper, silver jewelery, fresh juice, food! Old Delhi, Purani DilliOld Delhi, Purani Dilli Old Delhi, Purani DilliA journey into the ‘walled city’ transports you into another world. We got onto rickshaws from the historic Turkman Gate {one of the 14 gateways to the Shahjahanabad of yore} in the heart of New Delhi. The minute we crossed the gate and took a right turn, the road disappeared into a ‘gali or narrow street! No cars, just rickshaws, people on foot, goats galore, mules too …. a different cacophony!Old Delhi, Purani DilliSome of my photographs might have a ‘rickshaw shake’ as we were in a hurry to get around, but I had to share them with you. It’s the essence of Old Delhi, a city I love, which appears rather mystically the minute you cross over into the walled area, or  Purani Dilli. The city  grows on you!Old Delhi, Purani DilliTomorrow I’m off to Goa with the kids for a short break, a revisit after a gap of over 20 years. Whoopie!! Hopefully will have some more pictures of yet another beautiful Indian city to share with you soon! Until then, here are my version of Rees whoopie pies!

Other Pioneer Woman recipes on PAB
Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk Rolls
Apple Cranberry Almond Olive Oil Pull-Apart Loaf & Popovers

PAB featured on The Pioneer Woman on Web Deliciousness: Strawberries!
Old Fashioned Eggless Chocolate Cake with Balsamic Strawberry Cream Filling
Whipped Strawberry Curd Cream Tartlets with Walnut Shortbread Crust

[print_this]Recipe: Oatmeal Nutella Whoopie Pies
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Summary: Charming little sweet oatmeal whoopie pies sandwiched with a Nutella frosting … brings out the child in you! Minimally adapted from The Pioneer Woman. I made half the recipe, about 12 whoopie pies.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes {plus cooling/chilling time}

  • Cookies
  • 190g brown sugar
  • 75g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 150g plain flour
  • 90g rolled oats
  • Nutella Filling
  • 2.5 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75ml low fat cream, chilled
  • 75gm Nutella


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Cookies
  3. Cream brown sugar and butter. Add egg, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder and mix. Mix baking soda and boiling water, then add to the bowl and mix. Add flour and oatmeal and mix well.
  4. Scoop dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets so that you have rounded heaping teaspoons. Bake for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and let the cookies cool completely.
  5. Filling {adapted from That’s the Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had, by Missy Dew from here}
  6. In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it’s very thick. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.
  7. Whip the low fat cream to medium soft peaks. Whip the cooled flour mix until smooth, then add the Nutella and whip again until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes/until firm enough to spread.
  8. Scoop a small amount onto cookies, pressing a second cookie on top.


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“I wanted to make a cookbook full of food that you’d absolutely love, because I love all of you.”
Ree Drummond

Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk RollsOf course I got tempted again! What’s not to love about Sweet Orange Rolls? The day I saw these delicious rolls from Rees new cookbook, I was in a trance. 24 hours later, my kitchen was enticingly orangey, deeply strawberryish … and like the best bakery in town. These Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry and Chocolate Buttermilk Rolls were winners.Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk Rolls I knew they would be! I am a huge fan of The Pioneer Womans cinnamon roll dough, a dough I have endlessly experimented with outstanding results each time. If the Apple Cranberry Almond Olive Oil Pull-Apart Loaf & Popovers weren’t a screaming success enough, these Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Olive Oil Pull-Apart Bread reconfirmed it!Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk Rolls So when I saw the dashing and talented {in Rees words of course, but seriously, it’s true} Brians post on  A Thought For Food, I knew my homemade bitter tangerine marmalade had found a new destination. This has turned out to be the yummiest one yet. It was a bread dessert waiting to be baked, and while I worked on the dough I made changes, just a few changes.Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk RollsNothing radical as the basic recipe is a winner. I had some buttermilk on hand, so in it went instead of milk. Then, when I opened the fridge to take out the jar of marmalade, I couldn’t resist thinking the oranges might enjoy some colourful company …Roasted Balsamic StrawberriesSo the marmalade got slathered over with some roasted balsamic strawberries I had made the day before. These are delightful to have in the fridge. For times when you buy too many strawberries in temptation and then panic that they will spoil, this is a good recipe. It keeps them safe for at least a few days longer.Roasted Balsamic Strawberries I make small portions at a time and put them into fruit bakes, sandwich and top a cake with cream, or drizzle a few spoonfuls over a parfait or ice cream. You can see them in these – Quark Mousse Cake, Quarkauflauf, Eggless Caramel Cream Cakes. Just yesterday I topped a cheesecake with the left overs. So many ways and so much fun; taste, colour and variety all packed into one jar! Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk RollsBecause they are oven roasted, they are nice and thick, they don’t ‘leak‘ extra liquid into the dough to make it soggy. To keep the ‘not so terrible any more’ teen happy I threw in some dark chocolate too. Orange, strawberry and chocolate together worked some magic in there to serve up some darned delicious dessert rolls! We loved them … LOTS! {I made 2 individual pop over rolls too with left over dough}.Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk RollsHow do I describe something bursting with the freshness of orange, seduced by the heady combination of deep roasted strawberries and dark chocolate … ooeeey, gooeey, wonderful. They were fabulous warm, and very very good at room temperature. And with obligatory lashings of unsweetened low fat cream, even more DELICIOUS!Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk RollsThis is my new favourite dessert – light, eggless, fruity, chocolaty. I love it! Dark chocolate only makes good things even gooder better. It’s adapted minimally from the Rees new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Food From My Frontier. If the recipe is anything to go by, the book has to be a winner.Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk Rolls Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk Rolls I made a half quantity and am glad I did. Half was hard to keep away from, how could we have  justified digging into 48 rolls? Next 24 to be made soon, and more bitter marmalade making coming up just for these! Yes, they were that good! Thank you Brian for the inspiration to bake this ‘miracle‘! Loved your ‘thought for food!

[print_this]Recipe: Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk Rolls
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Summary: Sweet dessert rolls bursting with the freshness of orange flavour, seduced by deep roasted strawberries and then given the kick of dark chocolate … all ooeeey, gooeey, wonderful. Adapted minimally from The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Food From My Frontier

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes {plus resting time}

  • Buttermilk Dough
  • 240ml {1 cup} buttermilk
  • 70gm {1/4 cup} granulated sugar
  • 60ml {1/4 cup} vegetable oil
  • 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
  • 270gm {2 1/4 cups} all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Filling
  • 50gm {1/4 cup} unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 1 serving roasted balsamic strawberries {recipe follows}
  • 100gm dark chocolate chips {good quality}
  • 1/2 cup {1 stick} butter, melted
  • Icing
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 60gm {1/2 cup} powdered sugar
  • 50gm {1/4 cup} unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-3 tbsp milk, room temperature
  • Dash of salt
  • Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
  • 225gm strawberries
  • 30gm  {2tbsp} brown sugar
  • 15ml {1tbsp} balsamic vinegar


  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, heat the milk, granulated sugar, and oil until warm but not hot. Add the yeast and 2 cups of flour, then mix and transfer to a bowl. Cover and let it rise for at least an hour.
  2. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. {Thermomix: warm milk, sugar,oil, yeast and flour in TM bowl. Mix at Speed 6 for 5 seconds. Knead at intermittent speed for 2 minutes. Leave dough in TH for an hour until it doubles. Cover TM if weather is cold. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on reverse speed 2 for 10 seconds.}
  4. Roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 15 inches wide by 10 inches deep. You’ll want it to be as thin as you can get so that you can add plenty of goo.
    Drizzle the melted butter all over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to smear it all around so that it coats evenly.
  5. Spread the orange marmalade all over the buttered dough, distributing it as evenly as you can, followed by the roasted balsamic strawberries.  Sprinkle as much good quality dark chocolate all over the two …
  6. Using both hands in a back-and-forth motion, gradually roll the dough toward you into one long log. {I took a little long getting here, so the dough began to rise. It’s a slightly shaggy dough, so might be a good idea to roll it on parchment, especially if you fill it ‘up’ like I did!}
  7. Pinch the seam to seal it. Slice the log-o’-dough into 1/2 inch pieces.
  8. Preheat the oven to 190C. Place the rolls in a buttered baking dish and allow them to rise for 20 minutes while the oven preheats. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until nice and golden.
  9. While the rolls are baking, make the icing.  Add the zest and juice of 1 orange to a bowl. Add the powdered sugar and salt, some milk.
  10. Then some melted butter and whisk it together until it’s nice and smooth and lovely.
  11. Pull the rolls out of the oven when they’re golden brown and drizzle on the icing right off the bat. The piping hot rolls will suck that gorgeous icing right down into their crevices and the whole thing pretty much becomes a miracle.
  12. Serve them warm.
  13. Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
  14. Toss the quartered strawberries well with the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Bake at 180C for about 45 minutes until nice and bubbly, stirring once or twice. Cool completely, transfer to a clean glass jar and refrigerate.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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