Saturday, November 12, 2011


Hear that CLINK ? That's my first draft in the can. Guided by doggedness, light terror, slight tension, real enthusiasm, and more than a little Mazel, we did it. Five weeks that were cut up with marathon Jewish holidays, the flu, and a week-long power outtage. Of course, there is a world more of work to be done on this beloved manuscript, before it is fully formed and gleaming ready to enter the world. But it is beyond the tricky first trimester.
I ended the cookbook fittingly with a recipe for Whoopie Pies with an option of classic marshmallow frosting, or a more serious Dark Cocoa Buttercream. That was fun. During this process I've learned several things: is an invaluable tool, loaded brevity is crucial in expressing an idea, I have a strange relationship with my kitchen appliances, sleep is overrated- but so is tired-looking skin, you can never go wrong when trying to create goodwill.
Up next: really trying to get a handle on my doughs, cooking for Thanksgiving- turns out, issuing an open call will result in many guests.

Whoopie Pie
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium sized bowl.
3. In large bowl beat together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar on low speed until combined, increase speed to medium and beat until light and smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat for another minute.
4. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low speed until combined. Add remaining flour and milk and beat until completely incorporated.
5. Using a tablespoon drop batter onto prepared baking sheets and repeat spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake each sheet individually for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes spring back when pressed. Remove from oven and let cool before filling with frosting. (Makes 12 whoopie pies)
Classic Marshmallow Frosting
1 cup marshmallow fluff
4 tablespoons milk
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sifted confectioners sugar
1. Beat together the marshmallow fluff and vegetable shortenening, beginning slow and gradually increasing speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
2. Reduce speed to low, add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, and beat until blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for a minute or two more.
Cocoa Buttercream
1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1. In medium sized bowl beat together the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa, and butter starting low and increasing speed t medium until frosting is crumbly.
2. Add heavy cream, vanilla, and salt and beat on high until smooth.

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