As I mentioned yesterday, Emma, D and I are taking a work break this week and tackling some projects. Yesterday was all about stripping down some furniture and today I'm making a slipcover for a mini wing back chair. This weekend? We'll be building a bed! I'll be sharing all of these posts next week... if they go well. Stay tuned!
the new cupcake?
These light and fluffy cake cookie sandwiches are all of the rage these days. I recently read an article (NY Times, maybe?) that claimed the Whoopie Pie was the new cupcake. Wow. Bold statement!
I'm not sure about the new cupcake, but I do like that they are a more 'homey' rustic dessert that seems to have a casual quality, as apposed to the 'pretty' cupcake with the swirls of icing. In fact, they might be a more 'manly' cupcake option. Definitely a more transportable cupcake option - even after years of catering and delivering cupcakes, it is always one of my biggest struggles!
On the 'manly' note, Mike specifically requested these this week after his first Whoopie Pie experience while visiting our friends in Maine last weekend. I knew he would love them as his favorite cake combo is chocolate cake with white icing. A Whoopie Pie fan was his destiny.
Like cupcakes the possibilities are endless. I had a friend post of my facebook wall today that she had recently heard of a Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie. I can only image that with fluffy cream cheese icing. Oh wow. I will definitely be experimenting with that this Fall.
While looking at different recipes online today, I found many different looking whoopie pies. For me, a great Whoopie is in the lightness and fluffiness of the cake AND the icing. The entire thing should taste like a fluffy, chocolate and cream cloud.
I am a huge fan of anything that starts with a cake mix. For some reason, it just seems more manageable if it starts with a box! The result was great... and very quick to make. Highly, highly recommended. Oh, and what makes these even better is they are great to freeze, too. I'm going to put them in the freezer to get out for Mike's lunches everyday.
from a cake mix
1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 sticks of butter, softened
3-4 cups of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, water and oil. Whip together for 2-3 minutes.
On a parchment paper* or Silpat lined baking sheet, scoop out batter into round mounds. I used a small ice cream scoop that measured 1 2/3 inches in diameter. Use the back of a spoon to round out scoops of batter into perfect circles.
*I've switched to using pre-cut parchment sheets that fit perfectly in a sheet pan... they are a dream. They are non-stick and you can just throw them away after you use them. I use them for everything - cookies, roasting vegetables, meatballs, etc. I'm stocking them in my store as one of my favorite "essentials" - 200 sheets for $12... which should be a year supply. No more washing the silpat.
Bake for 8 minutes. Cool.
For the icing, in your mixer with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar (start with 3 cups of powdered sugar, then add more if necessary for thickness). Whip for 5 minutes until light and fluffy (the extra time makes all the difference!). Scoop into a pastry bag (you can buy here, 20 bags for $12) with the end cut with a 1/2 inch opening.
To fill, pipe icing onto the bottom cookie (wrong side up), then top with another cookie (right side up).
You can make any size you'd like, these ended up being almost 5 inches!
*Again, I've switched to using pre-cut parchment sheets - one of my new favorite things.
Whipping the butter and powdered sugar for 5 minutes gives it a really fluffy, airy quality.
Here is my pastry bag with the end cut off... also one of my favorite things. They make it so much easier to control rather than just spreading with a knife. I use disposable so I don't have to worry about washing it... I can just toss it. Usually I have a little left in the bag, so I just put the bag in the refrigerator, then get it out anytime I need a little icing. You can buy them here.
...and top. Looks like a big fluffy oreo, right?! I think I must go have another one right now with a big glass of milk.