News Flash: Dessert First Gets Trendy

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett

No one would ever accuse me of being trendy, but every once in a while, I get lucky. Whoopie, it’s my lucky day! Epicurious has posted its foodie predictions for 2010, and I, my friends, have been long ahead of this curve. The top dessert trend for 2010? Mini whoopie pies!

Now I have to admit, mini is relative when it comes to a whoopie pie. My cookies in general run smaller than most, as my mother handed down her decided preference for dainty bites, but even a mini whoopie isn’t tiny. It’s just right, whereas a regular whoopie can be too much gooey sweetness at one go. Here at Dessert First, we keep two chocolate whoopie pies on the permanent menu, with a raspberry or mint filling. But don’t let your imagination stop there: How about peanut butter filling, or orange, or Kahlua, or Sambuca, or carrot cake/banana/zucchini/pumpkin pies with a pillowy vanilla filling?

What’s a whoopie, anyway? Bearing no resemblance to a pie (well, both are round, I suppose), a whoopie pie takes two very soft, cakey cookies and sandwiches them with a fluffy filling. The classic filling is marshmallow creme-based, but some heretics like to use cream cheese instead. I came up instead with a less-sweet version that starts with a cream filling and uses just a touch of marshmallow creme. To my mind, you should always ignore the standard filling that calls for the gritty combo of shortening and confectioner’s sugar. If you prefer that, though, a good recipe is at King Arthur Flour’s website, a great source for solid recipes.

Whoopies freeze well, too. I like to wrap them individually in plastic, then store in a freezer bag. They’re perfect for lunchboxes, thawing by lunchtime, or for a treat after a rough morning at preschool, and, judging from what I saw on a recent visit to middle school, mandatory after a day of sixth grade, at least for the parents.

Those are the basics. But getting trendy has me feeling all special and fancy, so may I present: Chocolate Kahlua Whoopie Pies with Sambuca Cream. Mmm, trendy has me all tingly (or was that the Sambuca?).

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