Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Four More Years, Four More Years
Happy Blogday to me,
Happy Blogday to me,
I can't believe it's been 4 years,
Happy Blogday to me!
Yes, four years ago I timidly entered the world of food blogging. I was not ( and am still not) ambitious, thinking that blogging would launch me into a career as a cookbook author or celebrechef. But in a way, a quiet, unspectacular way, it has done that. Not that any publishing house is knocking on my door, contract in hand, but I've created an online cookbook right here. It's a reference for me and my family to locate favorite recipes. You're welcome to use it, too, free of charge.
As to celebrechefdom (isn't that a great word I just made up?), no, you won't be seeing me filling a time slot of the Food Network. I barely have time to get my laundry done and make my bed. Doing a TV show? I don't need that kind of pressure in my life. Besides, when I'm nervous, my voice gets high and squeaky, like Minnie Mouse on helium. Not a good TV presence. But I do occasionally get a jolt of surprise when meeting a friend of my daughter's or a co-worker of my husband's who says, "I love your blog! I just make your brownies. They were soooooo good!" It always surprises me to learn that someone I don't know reads my blog.
Have I made any money from this venture? No. I'm definitely in the red here. But I have gotten some free stuff and I've gotten the confidence to enter a contest which I won (more free stuff!). And more importantly, there are the intangibles of blogging. I now know wonderful people from around the country and around the world who I would never have met without blogging. And I know that even if I never posted another cookie, we'd still be buddies.
The other interesting thing about blogging is how my skills and confidence in the kitchen have increased. I'm willing to take on new challenges and they're not as daunting as they used to be. Also, as I've become more aware of food possibilities, I've branched out from Rice Krispie treats and chocolate chip cookies. It's been fun to have the blog as my playground, where I could experiment with food, mixing flavors, trying new techniques, and giving free reign to my playful side. My family is very familiar with the phrase, "It's for the blog." And they're OK with that.
One of my most popular posts is my Fluffernutter cake , a tribute to Elvis. It was fun to make and killer delicious. I've been toying with the idea of revisiting the fluffernutter theme, and this time I did it as a Whoopie Pie. Yes, all the fabulous deliciousness of the Fluffernutter cake that you can hold in your hand.
Print out the recipe, make up a batch, and let me know what you think. Your comments are my paycheck. They don't spend well at Costco, but they give me motivation to keep posting.
Fluffernutter Whoopie Pies
- adapted from King Arthur Flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (3 medium to large) mashed bananas
2 large eggs
2 cups King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour, white wheat or traditional
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
2/3 stick (~11 Tbsp) butter, softened
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1-1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp milk
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1- Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2- In a large bowl cream together the butter, sugars, and salt until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the bananas. The mixture will look curdled; that's OK.
3- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
4- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix until evenly combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix for 1 minute more.
5- Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
6- Scoop the dough by Tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets. (If you want larger pies, you can use a quarter cup measure, but allow plenty of space for them to spread out.)
7- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until the edges are very lightly browned and the tops spring back when lightly touched. (If you're making the larger size, bake for 12 to 14 minutes). Let the cookies rest on the sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
8- For the filling, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add the powdered sugar and beat till smooth, adding milk, if necessary to achieve a smooth, frosting consistency.
9- With a rubber spatula, fold in the marshmallow fluff till there are no streaks of marshmallow remaining.
10- To assemble the whoopie pies, spread about 2 Tbsp of the filling on the bottom of one of the cooled cookies. Gently press another one on top.
Store the cookies in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container.
(Notes on the filling - I specified natural peanut butter as I'm trying to cut all hydrogenated fats out of my kitchen. I wanted to see if natural would work here. It was fine, but will need refrigeration to keep it from separating. Also, although you'd think I'd know better by know, I read 2/3 next to the butter and added 2/3 cup, not 2/3 stick. It makes a difference. So if you were one of the recipients of these, know that making it as directed won't give you the same taste you had before.)