Lately, the only kinds of dates I've had are my baking dates with Jenna. I'm not complaining: she's fun, we get along great, and there is no pressure of having perfect hair, makeup and outfit. And I never have to wonder if she'll call me and want to see me again ;)
Last weekend we decided to get together for another one of our baking dates and invited Mary to come along! The more the merrier. Since my condo is located geographically in the middle, I played host. Plus, it gave me a good excuse to neaten up a bit and to show off my new bedroom furniture!
Before the baking started, we caught up, enjoyed a light lunch (Mary brought delicious flat bread with mushrooms, roasted beets and cured meat) and I had fresh French Bread and a salad I made for Robyn's blog that morning.
Then it was time to bake! This time around we decided to make whoopie pies. It was the first time for me and I was excited, slightly nervous, but knew I was in good hands: Jenna is a great teacher!
Special Thanks to Jenna for typing up the recipe!!
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
From Baked Explorations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Yields 10-12 large whoopie pies, 15-17 small pies
3 1/2 cups (17.5 oz) All Purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup (2.18 oz) dark cocoa powder, sifted
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 cup (4 fl oz) hot coffee
1/2 cup (4 fl oz) hot water
2 cups (15.32 oz) light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup (6 fl oz) canola oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (4 fl oz) buttermilk, shaken
Swiss vanilla filling (recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the AP flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Pour the hot coffee and hot water over the cocoa mixture and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
4. In another medium bowl, combine the canola oil and light brown sugar. Add this to the cocoa mixture and whisk until combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk and whisk until smooth.
5. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture.
6. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe into 2 inch rounds on prepared baking sheets, 1 inch apart (or scoop onto sheets with a small scoop).
7. Bake 10-15 minutes, until the cookies crack slightly on top and spring back in the center when gently pressed. Let cool completely, then remove from sheet with an offset spatula. Pipe or scoop half of the rounds with the filling. Top each piped round with another cookie and serve.
Swiss vanilla filling
5 egg whites
1 1/2 cups (10.5 oz) sugar
2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites and sugar. Place over a pan of simmering water and gently whisk until the sugar dissolves (test this by dipping your finger into the mixture - when you can no longer feel grains of sugar when you rub the mixture between your fingers, then the sugar has dissolved) - the mixture will be slightly warmer than body temperature.
Transfer bowl to mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until the mixture is smooth, white, and fluffy - about 5 minutes. Add the butter, one piece at a time. Add sea salt and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Beat until the filling is smooth and glossy (it may look curdled, but just continue to beat - eventually the mixture will come together).
Check out our piping job!!
Please ignore my slightly old manicure. Just look at these gorgeous whoopie pies!
There were so many of them! Luckily Jenna and Mary took some home and I shared the rest with my friends. I'm not to be trusted to be alone with baked goods.
Loved hanging out with Jenna and Mary, learning how to bake a new treat and having something sweet for dessert. I doubt I'll ever bake these again, but it was fun.
I also really appreciated that Jenna was awesome about cleaning up right away: that way I wasn't left with a sink full of dishes. Instead, as soon as the girls left, I took a sugar induced nap.