Monday, September 20, 2010

Whoopie Frickin' Do!

What’s the big deal with Whoopie Pies? If you asked me three months ago, what a whoopie pie was, I would tell you it was a dessert, but that I had no experience whatsoever with it. Now that I’m on the foodie blogging circuit, I see them everywhere. EVERYWHERE! What’s all the whoopie about?

(Minor irritation side note: Microsoft Word keeps trying to get me to spell it “whoopee” not “whoopie”.) Anyway, so I see all these recipes for whoopie pies popping up all over Foodbuzz and elsewhere with combinations such as pumpkin with cream cheese frosting, red velvet and cream cheese, chocolate and marshmallow, blah, blah. They look so yummy and I was definitely intrigued, but there is something inside of me that goes a little like this then I see a trend…

Me: Ugh, yet another culinary (or otherwise) trend. So, what’s the big deal with whoopie pies?

Anti-Trend: It’s all about throw back. Even if it’s butt ugly, like a 1960’s orange and green owl pendant, it’s cool because it’s vintage (and an owl).

Me: I love vintage. I always have…before it was cool. By the way, that brings me to this question: Why does it seem that when I find something I think is unique and cool and start collecting it, it suddenly gets popular and is no longer as unique as it once was and then I have to find something else obscure to collect?

Anti-Trend: Firstly, it’s obvious that because you start collecting it that it suddenly becomes popular. (rolls eyes) Secondly, you’re talking to me. The mere fact that your imagination thought up a character called “Anti-Trend” is pretty amusing.

Me: Oh, shut up! You’re only here to confirm my stubborn nature to be faux-opposite of trends.

See what I put up with on a daily basis? Okay, so I like to think that I am against trends, but back to the pies. What gives? Well apparently, I do. I just had to make them.

I think what did it for me was the episode of Just Desserts on Bravo. If you didn’t know, I am a huge Bravo fan. HUGE. I love almost everything on that channel…almost. Padma, I’m going to have to say, Gail is showing you up in the hosting category. I personally don’t believe starting every show with Padma blandly saying, “Hail to the chef!” in her classic, bored-to-tears, monotone/robotic manner reflects the fire and excitement of Top Chef. Sorry, Padma.

So, again, back to the whoopie pies...and Just Desserts. Being a die-hard Top Chef fan, I didn’t know if this sweeter version was going to have the guts-n-glory of it’s big brother. Boy, I was wrong! I was completely glued to the T.V. The creativity spilling out the tube was so inspiring! Gorgeous colors and amazing dessert concepts (even if they didn’t pan out) were definitely on the menu. And guess what somebody made? Yes, a damn whoopie pie.

Well, that did it. If it was on a sugar-jacked version of Top-Chef, then I was so there. It was as if that whoopie pie burrowed itself into my psyche and gnawed away until I sorted through several online recipes for whoopie pies until I found one. I just HAD to make them.

So I did. We had the family over yesterday to eat a Mediterranean spread of “kebab burgers” (The hubs came up with that one, which was a great idea. They turned out fabulous…and giant), with all the traditional sides and then for dessert, a big plate of whoopie pies.

I chose to do chocolate cakes with peanut butter frosting…because that’s what was in the pantry. I wanted to do pumpkin ones but I wasn’t running to the store to do it. I used the recipe from the book Whoopie Pies. Amazon has it for 11 bucks or something. I may be purchasing it. (Anti-Trend: You're right, that'll show the trend who's boss.)

The frosting, well, I kind of botched it. It’s Ina’s recipe for peanut butter frosting and it’s so wonderful. I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough so I just started adding more sugar and more peanut butter and my ratios got off. So it was more like the filling in a Reese’s peanut butter cup than frosting, but honestly, who cares?

I think for my first attempt they turned out well. I will make them again, just because they are fun to make, NOT because they are trendy (sheepish grin).

Knock yourselves out…oh wait, you already have. I forgot, I’m the one who’s late to the Whoopie Pie Party.

Chocolate Whoopie Pie

Adapted from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell

 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour

 ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 1½ teaspoons baking soda

 ½ teaspoon salt

 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

 1 large egg

 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 1 cup milk


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and brown sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.

Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and milk and beat until combined.

Drop by tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.

Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the rounds spring back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Frosting

Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipes

I would double this. Whoopie pies seem to use up a lot of frosting. The Whoopie Pie recipe made about 18 total pies. Yeah, definitely double this recipe.

• 1 cup confectioners' sugar

• 1 cup creamy peanut butter

• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Now put a nice blob of the peanut butter frosting between two of the cakey cookies and squish- but delicately, because they are fragile.


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  1. I hear you on being ambivalent about making something trendy (immediately kale chips and macarons come to mind for me). Have to say I fully endorse anything that includes peanut butter, which will never ever go out of fashion. Those look great, and the photo is very pretty!

  2. I happen to agree with you on the trend but I'm guilty of also following it LOL Actually I fell in love with whoopie pies while living on the East coast and being able to purchase them from Amish markets (they were delicious). I think they are fun and your version looks great. My kids would have no problems getting rid of a whole plate of these :o) Oh, and I voted!

  3. I was the kind of kid who would open up the whoopie pie and just eat the frosting. Now that I'm an adult and a baker, I just exclude the dough part of the recipe and just make the frosting. Not much ever changes I suppose.

  4. Love it! And I agree with you about Padma. I lost respect when she started doing the Hardee's (fast food) comercials. How do you go from Top Chef to fast food? Anyway, I want to eat your whoopie pies. They look delish.

  5. Your whoppie pies look freakin' awesome! And, of course, you have my vote!

  6. You are not alone in this! I just found out what a whoopie pie was about a month ago! Who wouldn't love your whoopie pies, there's PEANUT BUTTER in the middle! I LOVE peanut butter, no joke.

    I can understand about the anti-trend perspective. I liked those ugly owl items from the seventies because I remember seeing them everywhere when I was very young. I start collecting these ugly things for nostalgic reasons and to gross my mom out. (She hates them.) I get all excited when I find this nice looking owl fabric for a project and then I am very dissapointed to find that owls are back as a trend. A pretty big one actually. Great. Next?

  7. I live in PA and whoopie pies are huge and they bring back so many memories! I have yet to try to make them at home, maybe I'm lazy or maybe it's b/c I would eat em all in one night. There's just something comforting about these little cakey hand pie things mmmm now your post had made me starving for one : )

  8. These look delicious! I love the PB filling!

  9. My mom made them all the time growing up! Just voted for you!

  10. L! O! L! *sigh* I certainly enjoyed the ride inside your mind sweet bella, and i'll be click click clicking away my voting little heart out - whoopeeeee!

  11. Oh, my, Lauren. you've just touched a nerve. Your Anti-Trend voice is exactly why you won't find one single cuppy-cake on my site. Not one. And, my beloved scones are off the list, too, as we are suddenly inundated with them. 472 recipes for blueberry scones are plenty, no matter how big the inter-web gets.

    That said, would you please invite me over for one of your beautiful whoopie-pies? Yours look delicious-er than most, and one of your lovely orangey latte thingy's would be nice along side it. If you'd do this for me, I'd happily bouncy Tiny on my knee and make craps with your kids while you make dinner, or more whoopie pies.

  12. Whoopee for whoopie pies! I actually like the way your filling came out--it looks so thick and creamy. It's kind of like the cream inside of an Oreo. Now that you've given into the trend, whenever you get the chance you should try out the pumpkin kind--they are so fallish!

  13. Isn't it annoying when Microsoft Word tells you to spell something incorrectly...big pet peeve of mine! Your posts are so funny and creative. I love reading your words and then DROOLING over your food. These whoopie pies look so delicious! And I'm all about a little extra sugar in my Peanut Butter Frosting!

  14. I am more than happy to help you out with any whoopees =) you want to test.

  15. They have been all over the place lately, haven't they? I was just thinking that earlier today. Yours look delicious. Some of the best whoopie pie photography I've seen. :)

  16. How could I pass up a title like that! Great choice for your flavors on the whoopie pie!! Thanks for making me laugh this morning!!! Hope you are doing well

  17. This sounds great I'll put it in my list of things to fix.

    One reason the things you've become interested in and start collecting become trendy is because you're more aware of it. When you're not interested it's still there but you don't pay attention to it.

  18. Gorrrrrgeous whoopie pies! They look so good!

  19. Those Whoopie Pies were really yummy! BTW, I voted for you too!!! I hope we both get to the next round. I've got some really cool ideas for the Classics Challenge. Can't wait to see what you will do.

  20. That frosting looks so delicious I could eat it straight out of the bowl! Dang I am getting so hungry reading your blog!


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