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~A cute little whoopie pie maker~ ************************** I bought a Sweet Treats Whoopie Pie Maker last xmas from a well known high street store as it was on sale at a very good price with the offer of a further money saving voucher that could be used at a later date. At the time I was in store buying a coffee machine when this little gadget caught my eye, as it was on display showing itself off in all its baby pink glory. The style of this pie making machine is slightly retro in my opinion and reminds me of the fashions/ colours and styles that I recall seeing in milkshake bars and ice cream shops of days gone by. The outer part of the pie maker is cute and sugar coated in appearance, whilst the inner workings of the machine have neat and simple black coated surfaces that promise to be easy to clean and maintain. The pie maker did come very nicely boxed in a sturdy cardboard number that also had a few helpful details printed on the sides. The box didn't look at all cheap and would have been attractive enough when combined with the actual product to have been given as a nice house warming gift along with the food stuffs required to make up a whoopie pie or two. The recipe for a basic whoopie pie was given as I recall, although in the first instance I cheated and bought a ready made whoopie pie mix so as to ensure that my first batch had the best chance of being a success. I feel it would have been a nice touch had there been a voucher for a free pie mix included with the product, although at the price I paid I can perhaps see why there wasn't an option like that. ~Using the product~ **************** Out of the box the pie maker looks neat, cute and very similar to a small circular sandwich toaster crossed with an egg poacher. Once you open up the evenly weighted lid of the pie maker the inner section has a set of 4 indents built in to the base section which is where you place your whoopie pie mixture ready for cooking. These small circular indents are there so as to help form the shape of your whoopie pies once cooked through, with them being of a size that I have found means you can if wanted also produce a small scotch or drop style pancake type mix for a breakfast treat. This is very easy to do as you just make up a simple pancake batter then add raisins, cinnamon and lemon zest and pour a little in to each of the 4 spaces to make as many or as few pancakes as wanted. If using the pie maker to make a proper whoopie pie then each full set of 4 filled and cooked sections will make up two whole whoopie pies once they are made up. This does of course mean that it will take a little time to make up a large batch of pies which can sometimes be a little time consuming, although cooking times on the whole are fairly short. This isn't too bad if you are already in the kitchen baking and dealing with other food items, as all you need to do once your pie or pancake mix is ready is allow your first batch to cook through and then remove them whilst still hot, then top up with more of the same mix to make your next batch. The cooking plates are meant to be non stick which I have found to be the case if each time the 4 sections are very lightly brushed with a little butter or oil before cooking begins. Cleaning the plates is easy enough too, with the help of a clean damp cloth that can be used to wipe them over with after use. There are power and ready to cook indicators built in which are useful and in my opinion the pie maker is easy to store away once cooled after use as it is reasonably compact in size. ~Product rating~ ************* My rating for the product based on the price paid which was under £10 and the ease of use is a mid way 3 star product rating. I feel that the pie maker is fun to use and works well once you get the hang of being able to mix up a good whoopie pie or pancake mix. This isn't a must have item for the kitchen so I have rated it accordingly as it may be something that not everyone has storage space for, as its uses are rather limited in the long run. I have found this to be a nice little item for the occasional treat, which would also make a nice gift for a keen cake maker who wants to try something a little different.
Short name: Sweet Treats STWP001