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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Whoopie Pies.......and a Giveaway!

Whenever I check my blog dashboard, I'm always amazed to see all the traffic this little ol' blog receives.  Who does it come from?  How do people in all the different countries (Canada, United Kingdom and Poland this week) find me?

I remember how awed I was when I received 500 pageviews in the first month.  And now, thousands of pageviews later, I'm still awed.  I'm thinking it's time for another giveaway.
On a recent trip to the Williams Sonoma outlet, I spied this whoopie pie pan on the clearance rack.
I like the premise of Whoopie pies, what's not to like about frosting sandwiched between two cake-like cookies? The problem I have is that I've never actually tasted a whoopie pie that I liked enough to want to take a second bite.  I think the best one I ever tasted reminded me of a stale Devil Dog and there were others that reminded me of sugary hockey pucks.

As I was examining this cake pan I was modestly thinking that maybe if I made the whoopie pies myself, I would like the way they taste.  And then when I realized that there was a recipe included on the back of the packaging, I decided to buy two of the pans.  Two pans because the recipe on the package instructs you to wash and dry the pan after the first batch of cakes are baked, and I thought that I would rather just bake everything all at once.  That was my plan.

Then, as I was taking the packaging off of the first pan, I thought to myself, "how can I blog about making these if my friends don't have the right type of pan?"  And I told myself that a regular cupcake tin could probably be used instead, so that's what I would suggest.  And then I thought, "how do I know that a cupcake tin would really work?"  So that's when I decided that I myself would use one whoopie pie pan and a cupcake tin, for quality control purposes.  To see if using a cupcake tin would work just as well.

And it did.

And then I thought, "well, I've been wanting to do another giveaway, and this second whoopie pie pan would be perfect."  And that, my friends, was the thought process that led us to this giveaway.

To be entered to win the whoopie pie pan, all you have to do is either become a follower of this blog or leave me a comment.  Your comment can be anything at all, from "I love whoopie pies" to "Let's Go Red Sox!"  If you are already a follower, you are automatically entered.  If you would really like to win this pan and want to increase your chances, you could become a follower and leave a comment, and then you will be entered twice.  I will randomly draw the winner on Wednesday afternoon.

And I should add a disclaimer that I came up with this giveaway on my own and that I am in no way connected to or affiliated with Williams Sonoma or Chicago Metallic, the manufacturer of this lovely cake pan.  Williams Sonoma and Chicago Metallic have no idea that I even exist.

Today's Playlist
  • "Let's Build A Home".....The White Stripes
  • "Some Kind Of Wonderful".....Grand Funk Railroad
  • "Someday"......The Strokes
  • "Level".....The Raconteurs
  • "Hook"..........Blues Traveler
  • "Lithium"........Nirvana
  • "Pumped Up Kicks"......Foster The People
  • "Back Against The Wall"......Cage The Elephant

Whoopie Pies
(from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen)
for the cakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
for the filling:
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour the wells of the Whoopie Pie Pan/cupcake tin. ( I just used butter to grease the pans and skipped the flour.)

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the brown sugar and butter on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.

Add the vanilla and egg and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour.

Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

So, flour mixture......


.....flour......buttermilk........and finally flour.  When all has been added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 30 seconds.

(I am going to deviate (yes, I'm a deviant, can't help it) from the recipe here.  The lucky winner of the cake pan can read all the stuff that I'm leaving out if they would like, but I am going to cut to the chase.)

Fill each of the wells of the whoopie pie pan/cupcake tin with a heaping tablespoon of batter.

It should be sort of thick so it doesn't immediately race to fill the well.  Sort of sit there.  But not be stiff and dry.

Fill all the wells.

If I had used the perfect amount in each, I would have filled 24 wells.  (12 in the whoopie pie pan and 12 in the cupcake tin.)  Whoops (pun intended), I guess my whoopie pies are gonna be a bit thicker than they should be.  As long as there is an even number, I don't see a problem. 

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Mine baked for 9 minutes.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack and let them cool completely. (I did not pay attention to the exact amount of time it took for them to cool, but it was pretty quick--the cakes are small and cool quickly.  By the time I made the frosting, the cakes were cooled.)

The cake on the left is from the whoopie pie pan, the one on the right was cooked in the muffin tin.  The difference is not that noticeable.

Gather the filling ingredients.

Beat together the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and salt on low speed until combined.

Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about one minute.

To fill the whoopie pies, I put an overflowing tablespoon of the filling right in the center on half of the cakes........

.......and topped them with the remaining cakes.

Then, I put an assortment of fall-themed sprinkles (to celebrate the chilly weather we are having) into shallow dishes......

......and rolled the edges of the whoopie pies into the sprinkles.  I did leave a few of the whoopie pies plain and sprinkle-free.

Everyone in the house agreed that these whoopie pies were excellent.  Soft, chocolatey cake and creamy, fluffy filling.  Not hockey puck-like at all.


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