April 23, 2012

Banana Lime Whoopie Pies

I've never been a coffee drinker. Ever. I've tried it a few times and I just don't enjoy it. But there are some mornings that even I think I could use a cup.

The job can be fairly monotonous. When it's busy, it's I-need-about-five-more-people-here-but-am-all-by-myself busy, but that comes in spurts and doesn't happen all the time, and there's no way to really know when it will happen. Most of the time, it's pretty predictable. Answer the phones, mark down appointments, create security badges, easy peasy. It's all routine enough that I get the urge to answer the phone at home with a "How may I direct your call?" So the times that I screw it up are the times that I think I could really use a cup of joe.

(Question: why is it called joe? Is there a higher incidence of Joes drinking it than any other name? Did Joe invent it? Does Joe mind that we drink him?)

Once at work, I nearly answered, "How may I decorate your call?" A few times before I bought the Silver Dragon I answered, "How may I direct your car?" This one time, I answered an e-mail with, "Thanks Theresa!" when I was answering Janice. I've misdialed my own extension.

But the best was this morning. See, I use a headset, but the battery dies really quickly, so if the phone's not ringing, I leave the headset plugged in. If I'm busy doing work on the computer, though, I might leave the headset on so I don't have to pause to answer the phone. This morning I was working on a directory for one of the other buildings when the phone rang. Without looking, I pressed the button to pick up the call, and started my customary greeting... when I realized the headset was plugged in, not on my head. I was talking to thin air.

Yeah, coffee's sounding better and better all the time.

These whoopie pies came about because I had limes and I had bananas and I decided to combine them. The cakes are light, fluffy, and moist and make my tongue tingle in a good way. The whipped honey filling...


I mean, it's good, but I've just never actually been a fan of honey. I'm not going to give you some nasty frosting here, people. If you like honey, you'll love it. It's got good honey flavor without being too sweet, and a great, fluffy texture. I just couldn't think of anything better that would compliment the banana and the lime flavors without overpowering them. I like the cakes by themselves here, but they wouldn't actually be whoopie pies without filling. They'd just be sad little not-cake-not-cookies. I'm open to suggestions, if anybody has them.

Banana Lime Whoopie Pies {Printable Version}
Yield: 17 whoopie pies (34 individual cakes)

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
2 medium bananas, mashed
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt.
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar, butter, shortening, and lime zest together at medium speed until fluffy. Add the bananas, egg, and vanilla, and continue to beat at medium speed until creamy. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and add to the ingredients in the mixer, beating on low speed. While that's mixing, stream in the lime juice. Increase speed to medium until the mixture is fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat, drop the batter by the tablespoon, being careful to leave at least one inch between each. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Recipe by Kim

Whipped Honey Buttercream {Printable Version}

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. lemon juice*

Using an electric mixer with the whip attachment, beat together the butter and sugar at medium speed until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the whipping cream, honey, and lemon juice, and beat on low speed until it just starts to combine, and then increase the speed to high. Continue to whip on high speed until smooth and fluffy.

*Please note that the lemon juice may be omitted, however I found the frosting to be far too sweet without it.

Recipe by Kim