These were too cute to pass up. Somehow I'm going to make these without the kids seeing them and I'll put them in plastic lunchbox containers and they'll discover them when they open their lunch at school! (Be sure to add this note to your list of "Ways to make my kid the coolest one in the school!" oz
These were actually called Leggy Whoopie Spiders (Gluten-Free and Soy-Free).
For the whipped ganache:
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (about one heaping cup)
For the cookies:
1/2 heaping cup rolled oats
1/4 heaping cup dried coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground turbinado sugar or white sugar
2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (at room temperature)
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter or other smooth nut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
For the legs:
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the eyes:
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 Tablespoon water
Leggy Whoopie Spiders (Gluten-Free and Soy-Free)
For the whipped ganache:
Bring the coconut milk and maple syrup to a boil and immediately remove from heat.
Add the vanilla and the chocolate chips and whisk as if your life depended on it!
The chocolate should melt completely and it should become lovely and smooth, but if it's not happening you can warm it up for a few seconds while stirring or whisking constantly.
Watch it carefully, burnt chocolate is the only type of chocolate that sucks.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours or until it's completely cold.
We will whip it later...
For the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 375║F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Grind the oats and the coconut in a blender or food processor. (I use my Magic Bullet with the short blade base.)
Sift them into a medium size mixing bowl.
There will be gritty bits left in the sifter that you will discard, which is why you will need heapingness when you measure the oats and the coconut.
Add the sugar, tapioca, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, coconut milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and almond extract.
Beat with an electric mixer for about 30 to 45 seconds.
Use a medium size (1.5 tbsp) cookie scoop to drop one cookie onto the baking sheet and watch it for a few seconds.
The soft batter should barely flatten itself on top, but it shouldn't spread more than a couple of millimeters.
If it spreads too much. add a little more ground coconut.
If the top doesn't flatten at all add a little more coconut milk.
When you're happy with your batter, scoop the rest of it onto the baking sheet leaving a couple of inches in between cookies.
Bake for 12 minutes.
Gingerly remove the cookies from the oven without banging the baking sheet against the oven walls or rack or they might *de-poof*.
Let them sit on the sheet for five minutes.
Use a thin metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them come to room temperature.
To assemble the cookies:
When the ganache is cold and the cookies are at room temperature, use an electric mixer to whip the ganache.
Beat on high for about a minute or until it looks soft and fluffy and the color changes from dark brown to a lighter brown.
If it's too hard and it's refusing to whip, add a Tablespoon of coconut milk.
It shouldn't be too soft though, or it won't stay put between the cookies.
Test the ganache on a cookie: Grab a cookie bottom-side-up, scoop a generous amount of whipped ganache on top, and top it with another cookie bottom-side-down.
Gently press down the top cookie just a little to help the ganache spread toward the sides.
If it spreads out too much and it runs down the sides of the bottom cookie, add 1 Tablespoon of sifted powdered sugar plus 1/2 Tablespoon of sifted unsweetened cocoa powder to the rest of the ganache and keep beating until well combined.
Keep adding sugar and cocoa powder until it's firm enough. That's it! Finish the rest of the cookies and move on to the fun part - leg making!
To make the legs:
Set up your leg making station.
Print out the leg pattern and tape it to a chopping board.
Tape a piece of wax paper on top of the pattern, just big enough to cover it.
Melt about 1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chippers in the microwave in a dry glass bowl.
It took my microwave 90 seconds on medium power, stirring every 30 seconds, to melt the chips completely.
Transfer the melted chips to a small ziploc bag and cut the tip off one of the bottom corners.
Just a small cut, no more than three millimeters.
Squeeze the melted chocolate out of the little opening and onto the wax paper, drawing the legs as you squeeze.
I knew this would be hard for me to explain, so I made a video of my hands making the spidery legs.
Instead of dragging the chocolate against the wax paper, squeeze it out from about a half an inch above the paper and let the stringy chocolate fall on it as you draw the legs. See? I told you I wouldn't be able to explain it!
The video should help, it's right below the recipe :)
Take the whole chopping board to the freezer and let the chocolate harden for about five minutes.
Remove from the freezer and gently peel off the legs using a thin metal spatula.
Transfer the legs to a compulsively dry large plate.
Repeat until you've made enough legs for 6 spiders.
Working quickly, because those legs will melt in your fingers if you dilly-dally, insert four legs into a side of one spider's creamy filling (insert the shortest tip into the filling) and four more legs into the opposite side.
You'll notice that the pattern pint-out has four legs facing one way and four legs facing the opposite way, that is so that no legs look flat from the front.
Are you tired of working on them or do you want to add eyes to them? You do? Awesome!
Combine 1/4 cup of powdered sugar plus 1/2 Tablespoon of water and stir until well combined.
It should be rather stiff, but if it's crumbly you can add a few more drops of water until it complies. Use a little ziploc bag with a cut-off corner again to squeeze the little eyes onto the tops of the spiders.
At this point, you probably have a little leftover chocolate from all the leg making, use a toothpick to drop a tiny drop of chocolate in the middle of each eye.
Warm up the chocolate in the microwave for a few seconds (though not in the ziploc!) if it's too hard.
Now we're all done!
This adventure makes 6 (3 inches wide) Whoopie Spiders! :)
Recipe and by Wing-It Vegan
* You can definitely use a spoon instead of a cookie scoop to drop the batter onto the the baking sheet, but the cookies won't be as round and neat.
* I will most likely add more notes as I will probably remember more tips later! :) (check the link when ready to make these)