"That's great, Frank. I'm just of the mind that when someone leaves cream filling on the couch, they clean it up."
Wow, this past weekend I went Thrift shopping and found myself eighty years old. Like a Hallmark Channel movie that was released in 2005 but shot in 97, so everyone's wearing prune colored lipstick, metallic bubble jackets, baby barrettes and silver eyeshadow, because that was what the future was, slightly gangster prostitutes. I aged right in the aisles.
I have NO love for people who can't handle themselves among overpriced glassware and fifteen copies of "White Oleander" and "My Friend Leonard". Treasures like a DANSK dutch oven (which sounds like something some dude who spent some time in Amsterdam tries to convince you of on a Saturday night, on the hide-a-bed in his friends studio, I'm speculating, all the dudes I know went to Spain. "This is called the Saffron revelation.") and a DVD copy of "Blue Crush" (which I already own but I need one for my purse. So I will never be without my generation's finest, motivational "You can do a pro football player AND be a surfer and poor and live right on the water in Hawaii" surfing drama ever made) went untouched, while I limited my acquisitions to a set of squat, speckled creamy salt and pepper shakers with aqua and light green rims. Very seventies. I like them. A single, amber glass because I love them. And another thin, smooth-sided glass beaker with a wide mouth and cork topper that is probably available at Pier 1 right now, but I like finding all different sizes at various Goodwills and speculating on what someone used them for before me. Right now, I think one was used for Quinoa and another for Crack Rocks.
A tiny bit ago, I wrote a simpering entry on building a bomb shelter with my sisters, because End Times must be coming -- we're all home for the summer. Well, the seal has broken and we're all beginning to scratch the screens out. Like with our toenails. Rustic.
We were planning a brief vacation this weekend, but it fell through and so we decided to grill at home, to honor those who were spending time near an actual water source. We ate wet carrots swabbed with white-bean and garlic dip, sharp with lemon and parsley, while chicken rubbed with paprika, garlic, black pepper and kosher salt smoked in the Weber. I made baked macaroni and cheese, vinegary slaw and for dessert, Whoopie Pies.
I haven't been baking a lot, because of So You Think You Can Dance. Watching 18 year olds (and I am finally old enough to recognize the slight difference between an 18 year old, lifetime dancer and myself, all of waning 24 years old) writhe around in chemises and rhinestone-spangled illusion mesh fabric is kind of not awesome when it comes to self esteem. I asked Father the other night when I could stop wearing his flannel shirts and work jeans, and maybe buy some of that flowery shampoo the other girls use at school and not the soap made from rendered bacon fat he melts himself, in old soup cans, but he told me that he needed another bone toothpick, and so I had to go find one in the trash pail.
Not really, but I did decide to make myself a WWSYTYCDD? bracelet, and so far I think it involves not eating bullshit. Literally.
But it was needed, baking, and so I did it. Whoopie Pies, like their southern cousins Moon Pies, have been on my to-make list and unlike the Moonies, which I had plans to deconstruct and glamorize, I wanted to try Whoopie Pies for the first time as they are. The recipe I used produced fine results -- they were beautiful, and after the first batch of smaller ones, I knew to take them out right before they were done. They can dry out fast, but even if you don't overbake them, they're unremarkable on their own. It takes a plop of light, airy filling (originally shortening-based), and a slight smush to make these into something else. Something dangerous.
They're fun to eat. Pinkies raised, filling oozes out the sides and tongues flick, catching it at the corners and top of lips. You can edge the filling back between the cookies, or lick it immediately and make up for it later.
1. The batter, when I was done with it, was too loose to "form into balls and shape" with my hands. I used scoops, a large one at first, and when that batch came out larger than an infant's skull ("Find a baby. Find a baby so we can document it. You could make a baby wear that, one of those. Like a cap. JAUNTY."), I switched to a smaller "cookie scoop" I bought at Target. You could also probably buy that baby, for testing, at Target.
2. What world do we live in where any recipe makes the stated amount. 28 sandwiches, Tish. Really. Really. I got 14 small ones, and three huge ones, which are scheduled for "Maury" on the 5th. Check your local listings.
3. I changed the filling. My recipe is below, and while it is a completely bastardized version of what I've heard whoopie pie filling actually is (marshmallow/egg white base, or Crisco), it was light and beautiful and made the unremarkable cookies much more.
Whoopie Pie Filling
1 stick softened salted butter
2 1/2 cups sifted, powdered sugar
2 oz cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Powdered sugar, for sifting
Cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar. Add more sugar by the quarter cup, until you like the consistency -- the cream and vanilla will thin it somewhat, so don't worry about it being too thick, or "crumbly". Add the vanilla, and cream, and whip until smooth. Now add the cream cheese, and blend until completely combined, and no lumps remain. At this point, if the filling is too thick, add a little cream, too thin, a little more powdered sugar. You want it significantly lighter than a cupcake frosting, and very "whippy".
Plop a decent amount of filling on the underside of half of the cooled, overturned cookies -- I used a small scoop, you could use a Tablespoon with no issues besides mild dryness of the mouth and liver failure. Call your doctor if either of these symptoms persist. Top with the other army of darkness/cookies, and sift gently with a tablespoon or so of powdered sugar if desired.
Whoop, there it is.