Monday, March 21, 2011

I've Gone Bananas

Do you ever crave food? Not in a pregnancy craving sort of way, but when you want to eat something allll the time? I occasionally go through phases when I want to eat the same thing for every meal. Well, maybe not for breakfast. I'm a milk and cereal kind of girl. A few years back it was salads with dried or fresh fruit, fancy nuts, and stinky cheese. Then it was (and still is at times) ordering whatever included avocado or guacamole. Recently, I've been on a big banana kick. Bananas foster cupcakes, banana bread beer, banana nut bread Clif bars, and the most recent addition....bananas foster whoopie pies. With cinnamon buttercream. And rum.

What? You don't add booze to your buttercream? OK, it was Mardi Gras. I figured the whoopie pies needed a little extra kick. One teaspoon was all it took to take these whoopie pies from "whoo" to "whooooooooo!"

This was my first time ever making whoopie pies, so things didn't go quite as planned. Apparently I don't play golf enough to know what a "golf ball sized" portion of batter looks like. My cookies ended up being softball sized. And maybe a little flat. But I don't think anyone was complaining.

PLUS, I had another buttercream breakthrough! I didn't want to drag out the Kitchenaid mixer just to make the frosting, so I used the food processor. I read about it a while back on Smitten Kitchen, but never tried it until now. Oh my gosh...this frosting was incredible! Just throw everything in the food processor and you're good to go. Seriously. It might change your life.

But now, Mardi Gras is over and Lent is here. The whoopie pies are long gone and I won't be eating sweets until the end of April. Fortunately, I found something new to satisfy my banana cravings: this recipe for peanut butter banana bread.

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Bananas Foster Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Eat Live Run

Makes about 18 whoopie pies

 3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups bananas, the riper the better (approximately 2 bananas)
1 tsp baking power
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground white pepper (I added a few grinds of black pepper instead)

In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar and oil. Add the bananas and eggs and mix well. (I used a potato masher for this step.) Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and ground pepper.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

Scoop (or pipe) golf ball sized portions of batter onto lined baking sheets. Bake for twelve minutes. Let cool thoroughly before sandwiching together with frosting.

Cinnamon Buttercream
Adapted from Eat Live Run

1 stick butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I also love cinnamon, so I added more)
2 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rum

Cream together the powdered sugar and butter until smooth (in a stand mixer or food processor). I started with 2 cups of powdered sugar because I wanted to check the sweetness and to try avoiding getting powdered sugar all over the kitchen.

Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, rum, and milk and whip on high speed until very light and fluffy.

To prepare whoopie pies, pipe (using a pastry bag or plastic bag) small dollops of frosting on a cookie and sandwich another cookie on top. Or be like me and spread a dollop of frosting using a knife. Cookies will stay fresh in a sealed tupperware container for three days but they are best eaten the same day they are baked.
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  1. Those look yummy! But what exactly is a whoopie pie? They always look like cookie sandwiches to me but I'm assuming they're more cake-like than cookie-like? Do you think applesauce could be substituted for the bananas?

  2. Yum! I will definitely try these sometime.

  3. Looks delicious! It's weird, I get stomach aches when I eat raw bananas, but I can eat banana bread, muffins, etc all I want and feel fine....


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