Remember that amazing, bright, springy, wonderful pesto I made this morning?
Remember how much I was looking forward to dumping it over a bowl of angel hair pasta and curling up with it on the couch after a weekend of running around celebrating graduation?
Well that went out the window.
My phone rang.
My cell phone never rings during the day.
My boyfriend is always too insanely busy at work to call me during the day, so when I saw his name pop up on my phone I knew something was either wrong or that something had come up.
I was praying for the latter.
But I’ll admit I was a bit flummoxed when he said that a bunch of his family wanted to come over tonight.
We were just with your family all weekend.
We were with them all weekend, and because we were with them ll weekend, we weren’t at our place this weekend.
Meaning, our apartment was a mess.
My mind went immediately to the still unpacked bags and the piles of laundry and the dust bunnies that needed vacuuming.
Then, my mind flew to the fridge.
Besides the pesto, there was nothing in there.
I hadn’t food shopped yet.
What would I feed these people?
I calmed down when he said everyone was cool with just ordering pizza.
But still, I couldn’t not make anything.
I’m a firm believer in offering anyone who comes to your house something homemade.
Which is why I try to keep a few key things in the apartment at all times:
- box of cake mix
- powdered sugar
With these on hand, you can at least make a semi-homemade dessert to go with your takeout dinner.
So here are my Emergency Whoopie Pies
You will need:
- 1 box cake mix (any flavor)
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing until blended. Some lumps are okay.
Drop rounded teaspoons of batter onto the cookie sheet.
They will spread a bit, so leave space. I can get 4 rows of 3, so a dozen on a sheet.
I usually don’t care about things being the same size, but in this case, size does matter. You’re going to sandwich two of these together, so you want circles that are roughly the same size.
Bake for 8-12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
One batch of mine was done in 8, one was done in 11. Depends on how thick you made your cakes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
I only have one cookie sheet, so I remove the cooked cake cookies and then dollop the next batch of batter on for round two.
While the second batch bakes and the first batch cools, it’s time to make the filling.
Super simple buttercream recipe.
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
You can double this or triple this or half this to suit your needs.
This amount fills a dozen whoopies pies.
Mix together butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. You can add more sugar if you want it a bit sweeter, or, if the frosting is too thick for your taste, you can stir in a little bit of heavy cream.
This is one of those feel recipes. You make it and you get a feel for the consistency.
You also, I’m sorry to say, might just have to taste it.
Horrible fate it is of the baker.
Feel free to add more sugar or more vanilla as you like.
You can also add food colorings, or if you want to be more adventurous, different flavorings like mint or coconut.
I’m pressed for time, so vanilla it is.
When the cookie cakes are completely cooled – you really have to let them cool all the way-
Patience is not a virtue I possess.
My mom gave me the middle name Grace, after my grandmother, so that’s the virtue I have.
I really think you only get one. So I am, unfortunately a very impatient person. Which is probably why I prefer cooking to baking, but I digress.
Let them cool completely. Otherwise you will have a runny, melty, sticky mess on your hands.
Flip a cookie cake over and frost the side that was face down on the cookie sheet. Find another one of roughly equal size, and, placing the cookie sheet side down, sandwich the frosting.
It should ooze out the sides a little bit.
Continue making sandwiches until you run out of frosting and cookie cakes.
If you did it right, there will be a small spoonful of frosting in the bowl begging to be eaten.
If you did it really right, you will savor the frosting for a moment, admire your plate of whoopie pies and then buzz the family up to the apartment.
Throw the cookie sheet and the bowls into the sink.
Cover your sink (and the mess) with your over the sink cutting board.
None the wiser.