Friday, January 4, 2008

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

Obviously, anything as dangerous as a peanut butter whoopie pie warrants an explanation.

Normally I try to steer clear of desserts and sweets. And these "whoopie pies"--which must look painfully familiar to anyone south of the Mason Dixon line, where Moon Pies rule--are basically death on a bun.

What happened was, I've been conducting a new year's cleanup--clearing desktops, sorting through piles of accumulated papers, thinning out files and finally going through my entire collection of food magazines, tearing out any worthwhile articles and bundling the rest for the recycling center.

It was in a January 2004 issue of Martha Stewart Living that I spotted the recipe for whoopie pies. On any other day, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. But I have an 8-year-old girl here on holiday break who's watching too much TV. She jumped at the chance to make whoppie pies. (The blame, in other words, rests soley with her.) The rest, as they say, is history.

Well, not so fast. Because it also happens that the garden gang I hang with, D.C. Urban Gardeners, was scheduled to drop by for a meeting. So I slotted the whoppie pies for the dessert end of a simple buffet to serve while brain wracking over how to support sustainable horticulture in the District of Columbia. The final menu worked out this way:

Winter salad of greens and roasted beets from the garden, toasted walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese with mustard vinaigrette; buttermilk biscuits with our own tomato-coriander jam; roasted acorn squash slices with maple-pomegranate glaze; and, of course, whoopie pies.

People are astonished to learn that we are still harvesting salad and beets from the garden, yet we are, and other things as well. But that could soon be coming to an end. Temperatures have plunged close to 20 degrees hereabouts, and the lettuces were already looking a little ragged.

The whoopie pies are deadly: two cakey chocolate cookies sandwiching a peanut butter-infused butter cream. One is enough to sound cardiac alarm bells. Two--well, by then you are condemned to a special place in peanut butter hell.

Yet, I heard nary a complaint. For the recipe, see Martha's website here.


Magic Cochin said...

After a couple of weeks consuming British Christmas food, I can't say I looked at the Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies and thought "yummy - must eat those!!!". My cravings are for a salad picked fresh from the garden - I'll have to wait a few months.

This week BBC Radio 4 has serialised "Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee - The Dark History of the Food Cheats" by Bee Wilson. It's a real mind-opener.

Happy New Year - may your plot flourish in 2008!


Joanna said...

I was almost tempted, your picture makes it look SO good ... but then I clicked onto Martha's site, and commonsense reasserted itself when I saw those dinky little lines curving round hers. Phew ;) But how many cakes have we made here to tear people away from the TV?

Would it be worth cloching some of your cut and come again salad? Or is it really too cold even for that?


susan harris said...

Boy, I'm glad I resisted MAJOR TEMPTATION and stopped at one Whoopie Pie! THey're amazing - a much nicer mix of chocolate and PB than Reeses Pieces, for sure.
And those salad greens were inspiring, too. I'm going through seed catalogs already, and ordering the more local ones you recommended. Thanks again, Ed, for good eats and now, food-growing mentoring.

David Hall said...

Death on a bun - I likes it! They do look seriously good mind. One now and again won't harm!


foodperson said...

IMO, a little sweet everyday is very much a part of a healthy diet! Of course, those do look to be more than a little of anything... And hey, Ed, what are those things pictured at the top of the page? Huh? Huh??

grace said...

i can't believe i missed out on these. can't believe it!

Ed Bruske said...

Celia, I know exactly how you feel. I have several pounds to lose from all the holiday gorging. It's amazing how all this stuff sneaks onto your plate when you're not looking.

Susan, glad I could count on you to take at least one of those whoopie pies off our hands. They are so tempting...Please keep me posted on the garden planting. It's fun to talk vegetables.

David, everyone keeps saying "one little whoopie pie can't do any harm." I'm trying to believe you, but I feel like I have the devil sitting on one shoulder, an angel on the other...

Janet, please come and eat the rest of these whoopie pies. Actually, I froze most of the cookies and refrigerated the butter cream, so we can make the pies as needed. At the top of the page are some of the Christmas cookies we decorated. I put them on display for the holidays, to be replaced soon with something more serious.

Grace, my wife thinks this is how I guarantee my position at the top of D.C. Urban Gardeners--by feeding everyone. Not to worry, we'll have something good to eat at the next meeting. A good reason to be here.

WashingtonGardener said...

I'm not a PB-nut, like many of my friends, but those do look scrumptious.
I agree with Foodperson - dessert should be arecognized food group - better to acknowledment the sweets craving and indulge a little at a time after each meal then go pig-out in private.

Ed Bruske said...

Kathy, desserts are definitely a recognized food group in our house. But so is my wasteline, hence, I try to stay away from them as much as anyone with an 8-year-old daughter can.

foodperson said...

Wasteline, eh, Ed? :D

Ed Bruske said...

Er, maybe a Freudian slip, Janet?
Of course, I meant waistline. Thanks for the correction.

foodperson said...

I assumed it was a slip and thought it was cute/funny. Not trying to correct you!