Sunday, July 31, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Whoopie Pies

I've seen whoopie pies gaining popularity and I've been dying to try them.  I finally found a recipe for peanut butter banana whoopie pies that I couldn't wait to try.

Banana Whoopie Pie 
adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, room temp.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350 F.

Mix the banana and sour cream together in one bowl (I used a big measuring cup).  Combine the flour, baking soda and powder, and salt in another container.  Whip the butter and both sugars together until light and creamy.  Then add egg and vanilla extract.  When it's well incorporated, alternately mix in the dry ingredients and the banana mixture, ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix only until it's together.

Put the batter in a pastry bag and pipe it onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in 1 1/4" circles.  Try to make them even.  Bake 9 - 12 minutes, until the ends are golden brown.  Take them out, transfer to cooling rack, and put more in the oven!

**The one thing I'd change in this part is more banana!  I think that flavor can get overpowered by the peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling
adapted from same site as pies

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temp.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup smooth peanut butter

Whip it all together until smooth!  Put it in the pastry bag and generously pipe onto the flat side of one of the pie circles.  Leave some space on the edge so when you squeeze the second pie on top, the frosting doesn't flow over the edges.  Squeeze on the second pie!  Makes about 40 whoopie pies.

Try not to each all the frosting before you get the whoopie pies together!  I'm using my extra filling as a dip for Oreos! Hmmmm... my favorite snack!

Key Lime Pie

Last weekend's experiment? Key Lime Pie! I've only had it once before so it was kind of a gamble!  I found Emeril's recipe and used it as a base.
Best idea of the day
 The recipe calls for 1 cup of key lime juice.  I started squeezing the first one and the pulp and seeds kept popping into the juice.  Putting a mesh strainer over the measuring cup turned into my best idea of the day!  By the time I was done, I had a large collection of seeds that I didn't have to fish out - which saved me time too!

When I was done with the pie and it had cooled, I topped it with a sour cream and confectioner's sugar frosting.  The sweetness of that paired well with the tart pie.  Next time, I'll probably make the frosting sweeter.  Using a spoon to spread the frosting around gave me control and put a nice pattern on top (not shown very well in this photo)!

It disappeared well at work the next day!

Question of the day: How many key limes did it take to get 1 cup of juice?
Answer: 33

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pearl Farmer's Market

My farmer's market purchases
I took my first trip to the Pearl Farmer's Market this past weekend - and I'll go back many times.  I love farmer's markets because it's local and fresh produce.  Also, it's usually cheaper than the grocery store!

Here's what I picked up on Saturday:
Loaf of bread: $4
Basil plant: $4
Peach jam: $5
3 Roma tomatoes: $1
16 Peaches: $2
2 zucchinis, 1 squash: $1
Eggplant: $2
2 Peppers: $1
Total: $20

Vendors I Visited: Oak Hill Farm, Sol y Luna Baking Company, Marrs Gardens, Braune Farms, and HGD Foods.