Monday, March 14, 2011

Recipe Tester: Making Whoopie PIes

Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley.
Call No.: 641.8654 WEI
Find it in the catalog!

Generally, I like my desserts to be as glamorous as possible. I prefer tartlets to pie, creme brulee to custard, and macaroons (the fancy, French kind--of course) to drop cookies.  Even though they are so hot right now, I don't think I've eaten a whoopie pie since I was ten.  After all, they don't put gold leaf and sugared currants on whoopie pies!

Thankfully, when it comes to baking, I'm not such a snob.  I'll make anything that doesn't involve a rolling pin or a pastry bag.  So when I saw this stylish retro looking cookbook, I decided to embrace the whoopie trend and try making some of my own.  It helped that some of recipes had fancypants ingredients like matcha and rosewater which appealed to my inner snob, and fun names like "Fat Elvis" and "The Happy Pilgrim." 

This cookbook has mix and match recipes, so you can decide to match different cakes with different fillings.  The authors do give you some suggestions.  Most of the whoopies I tried were based off their suggestions, though I did go rogue and make a Reese's Peanut Butter cup inspired whoopie. Below are photos of the different whoopies I tried:

The Purist Whoopie: Classic Chocolate Whoopie (p. 43) and Classic Marshmellow filling (p. 76).
This tastes pretty much like the classic whoopie pie that I used to have as a kid.  Though I still enjoyed it as an adult, which means it's probably tastier than the Hostess variety.

Peanut Butter Cup Whoopie: Classic Chocolate Whoopie (p. 43) and Salty Peanut Butter Filling (p.87).
This is my personal favorite whoopie that I have made.  I did notice a mistake in the peanut butter filling.  The book calls for "3/4 cup (6 tablespoons) of butter."  Really, 3/4 cup of butter is more like 12 tablespoons, but I used 6 tablespoons and the recipe turned out fine.

Savory Whoopie: Jalepeno Cornbread Whoopie (p. 73) and Bacon-Chive Goat Cheese filling (p. 107).
This recipe had me at goat cheese and bacon.   Delicious, though if I made it again, I'd top the whoopie with pepitas.

Chocolate Chip Whoopie:  Chocolate Chip Whoopie (p. 50) and Chocolate Buttercream filling (p. 79).
This is another of my creations, mainly because I didn't want to have to buy another can of Fluff to make the classic marshmellow filling.  The chocolate buttercream is extremely delicious, though I think the recipe is a little bit off.  I had to put in a few extra tablespoons of heavy cream to make it work.  

Fat Elvis Whoopie: Banana Whoopie (p.55) and Peanut Butter filling (p. 43).
The recipe recommends rolling the whoopie in bacon for maximum homage.  I didn't do that because I was afraid I would be the only person who would enjoy that.  A lot of people don't like bacon in their desserts.  Still, even without the bacon, it tastes like banana bread covered in peanut butter- yummy!