April 11, 2012

Chocolate Whoopie Pies and a Surprise!

Did you guys know that I have magic tickle monster blocking powers? I know it's true because my almost-5 year old cousin AJ told me so. You have to be careful around tickle monsters too, because they're very sneaky. And if they catch you, the only way you can get away from them is if you have a magic anti-tickle monster defender pull you away. *Nods sagely* And since I have never met another magic tickle monster defender, I will happily rent my services out to you guys for a reasonable fee.


Well, ah, I'm sure you're all in too much awe of my newly discovered super power. You've been struck speechless. Allow me to humanize myself for you- I apparently suck at hide and seek. But Aunt Trish (you might know her as the mastermind behind my cannoli cupcakes) is the, and I quote, "goodest ever." I lost some cred with AJ after not being able to find her hiding behind the drapes. It's okay, though. I think I gained it back and then some at dessert time with these puppies.

You might remember that I love whoopie pies. Well, I'm not the only one in my family to love them, so I decided to make them to bring for Easter. And I went with the classic dark chocolate and marshmallow combo because I tried out something new with the cupcakes (that I'll be sharing a little later in the week), and I wanted to have a tried and true fallback. And AJ loves chocolate.

For the cakes, I used the recipe from Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix 'em, Match 'em, Eat 'em Up Recipes. If you're looking for a good whoopie pie cookbook, buy that one. All of the recipes I've tried have been fantabulous, and it's got good basics as well as some more eccentric items. Plus, it's pretty entertaining. The only downside is the book does not like to stay open, so you'll want to put it on a cookbook stand or weigh it down. But the content is totally worth it. Just make sure to watch your cook times, since I've found about 8-10 minutes to be good, rather than the 10+ suggested in the book. Every oven is different.

But wait, there's more!

I was happily surprised this week to receive the Versatile Blogger Award from Kim at Just Baked! I was flattered not only to receive the award itself but to be nominated by Kim because, well, have you seen her blog? Her pictures are fantastic, her recipes always sound amazing, she loves whoopie pies, and her name is Kim. It's all the proof that I need that Kims are the kindest, prettiest, smartest, best bakers in the whole wide world. Truth. Thank you so much, Kim!

What the Versatile Blogger Award is: “It is a great way to introduce different bloggers to each other and to promote quality blogs that awardees and their readers may not have discovered otherwise.”

The Rules:
  1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
  2.  Include a link to their blog.
  3.  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  4.  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  5.  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  6. In the same post, include this set of rules.
  7. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
 7 Things about myself:
  1. I'm really bad at these "About Yourself" things. On the first day of my experimental psych class, the professor made us tell everyone something unique about ourselves and I couldn't think of anything. It was pretty embarrassing.
  2. I'm really bad at naming things. Not inanimate object things like Viola and the Silver Dragon, but things that actually need names. Like the novel I wrote. It still has a "working title". Which is much better than no title, I guess. But it's not very good.
  3. I wore a squid hat to New York Comic Con.
  4. I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was 10 years old. I promptly sat at the family computer to write my book. I got about 20 pages in, too, before I skipped over to the next story. And the next, and the next...
  5. Sometimes I think I never grew out of that stage where kids don't realize that other people can't see what they're thinking. I often expect people to follow my (meandering) train of thought and it takes me a minute to get why they have no clue what I'm talking about.
  6. I think big dogs are much cuter than small ones. The bigger and fluffier, the better. In my mind, it doesn't get much cuter than a snuggly Newfoundland.
  7. My newest favorite song right now is "(I'm the One That's) Cool" from The Guild. And it feels pretty apropos right now. (Warning for some language)
Now for the nominees:

Amy from Oh, Bite It!
Jen from Juanita's Cocina
Cravings of a Lunatic
Krista from The Not So Desperate Chef Wife
Jenn from Peas and Crayons
Johanna from Me and My Sweets
Lin from Lin's Food For You
Maggie from Kitchie Coo
Georganne from LilaLoa
Kate from Apfelcake & Patisserie
Tina from Flourtrader
Part Time Housewife
Pennie from Passioneats
Adam from The Unorthodox Epicure
Yummy Inspirations

Check them out! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll eat good food. Really, it's a win-win.

1 recipe Marshmallow Whoopie Pie Filling

Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies {Printable Version}
Yield: 18 pies (36 individual cakes)

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tbsp. vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with
parchment paper or silpat mats.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. In the work
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 together for another 2 minutes.
Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter, and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and ½ cup milk and beat untilcompletely combined.

Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto on to the prepared baking
sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes each, or until the pies spring back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix em, Match em, Eat em Up Recipes