All week long, the lovely Dorie Greenspan is serving as a Guest Editor here at Food52, sharing recipes and stories from her latest book, Baking Chez Moi. We're also giving away a copy each day! Because we want to give the gift of Dorie.
Today: How do you say "whoopie pies" in French? Les Whoopie, of course.
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I knew that whoopie pies had made a successful transatlantic journey when they turned up front and center in the showcase of La Grande Epicerie’s pastry department. La Grande Epicerie is to epicures what Disneyland is to kids: heaven. You could call it a supermarket, but you wouldn’t be doing justice to its wine, meat, caviar, seafood, exotic fruit, and extensive bread offerings. Or to its fabulous candy section. Or its selection of jams that goes on endlessly. Or its cutting-edge pastry stand. When something shows up there, you know it won’t be long before it will be everywhere. And so it was with Les Whoopies.
Those whoopies -- delicate cakes sandwiching thick, creamy fillings -- reminded me of dainty Parisian macarons. Unlike so many others I’d seen, which were too large, fat, and messy, they were small, elegant, precisely constructed, and decorated with sophistication and restraint. Each was finished with a shiny chocolate glaze and some had little spots of color.
Like the whoopies that inspired me, the ones I make look Parisian -- fashionably slim and properly glossed -- but they cradle an American secret: a peanut butter filling. This is grown-up pleasure and childish delight, all in one package. Not bad for a cake the size of a bonbon.
A note on Whoopie Pie pans: I use a whoopie-pie pan with twenty-four 2 inch-diameter indentations. You can use a pan with differing dimensions, but you may need to use a different amount of batter for each cake and your yield may differ.
2 cups (272 grams) all-purpose flour 1/2 cup (42 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed) 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar 1 large egg, at room temperature 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup (240 milliliters) whole milk, at room temperature
For the peanut butter filling:
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons; 3 ounces; 85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup (128 grams) creamy peanut butter (not natural) 1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the chocolate glaze (optional):
2 ounces (57 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
We're giving away a copy of Baking Chez Moi every day this week! To win today's copy, tell us in the comments: What's your favorite store-bought dessert to recreate at home? We'll choose winners this Friday, October 24th. (U.S. entrants only, please!)
Called a “culinary guru” by the New York Times and inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Dorie Greenspan is the author of 13 cookbooks, her latest is Everyday Dorie. Some of her other bestselling cookbooks include Dorie's Cookies, Baking Chez Moi, Around My French Table and Baking From My Home to Yours.