The Goodness of Makin' Whoopie

| Posted in | Posted on


Whoopie Pies, that is. Last week was my birthday, and Pam had offered to make me a birthday dessert. Obviously, I didn't want to pick something boring like chocolate cake, so I suggested an ice cream cake. Pam flatly refused this request, since it wouldn't require any actual baking, so my second choice was a homemade whoopie pie.

It seems like lately, cupcakes are kind of having a "moment." There are entire bakeries dedicated exclusively to boutique cupcakes, and I've noticed several HGTV reality shows that revolve around the drama of bakeries specializing in cupcakes. Now not to hate on cupcakes or anything (because who doesn't love a good cupcake) but I'm ready for whoopies pies to have their moment in the spotlight. They're so underrated, but equally portable, portion-controlled, convenient to eat without utensils, and possibly even more delicious.

Until this weekend, my only prior experience with whoopie pies were the amazing pumpkin whoopies that my friend Katie Cook makes around Thanksgiving, using her aunt's recipe. I usually make myself sick by eating a half dozen of them in under twenty minutes, because they are so delicious that if you don't eat as many as you can right away, you can guarantee that the plate will be empty when you return to it an hour later.

Apparently, whoopie pies are a northern thing, and they are traditionally chocolate with a marshmallow cream frosting. The other day we were at Crate and Barrel and we picked up a cookbook made up entirely of whoopie pie recipes.

I was amazed at the vast array of flavor combinations that could be produced by combining different cake and frosting combinations. This cookbook had recipes for Red Velvet Whoopies, Gingerbread Whoopies, Lemon Whoopies, Carrot Cake Whoopies, Pumpkin Whoopies, Pistachio-Cardamom Whoopies, and even Jalapeno Cornbread Whoopies. I was particularly intrigued by the recipes for the salted caramel, maple-bacon, rosewater buttercream, root beer, and candied ginger frostings.

But for my birthday, we decided on S'more Whoopies--a graham whoopie filled with chocolate ganache and marshmallow cream frosting. What could be better on a summer night? Especially with a tall glass of ice cold milk.

The trick was finding graham flour for the recipe. (Who knew there even was such a thing?) Though a little time-consuming to make and somewhat messy to assemble, the recipe was a huge hit!

The s'more whoopies tasted exactly like s'mores, except you felt fancier eating them, and they were definitely less messy to eat than the real thing. I'm already ready for s'more whoopie!

The Goodness of...Puppies!

| Posted in | Posted on


Yes, the rumors are true. Oliver, a miniature dachshund puppy, will be joining the Clayborn household in just a few short weeks. And it's become a little ridiculous just how excited we are about it. We have already bought a portable doggy toilet and have visited pet stores multiple times, just to check out the latest and greatest in doggy toys and accessories. We've studied dachshund books and Pam has already researched dog trainers in the area. We are counting down the days until we can go and pick Oliver up from the breeder and bring him home. In sum: this is a big freaking deal.

By our sheer excitement, you'd think we'd never had a dog before. But this isn't the first puppy for me and Pam. When we were first married, we got a miniature dachshund named Bebo. We loved Bebo. He was not particularly well-trained, but what he lacked in behavior he made up for in cuteness. I think you'll agree.

When we moved to California, Bebo, unfortunately, couldn't come with us, so he was adopted by one of Pam's friends. Now, four years later, we have finally moved to a housing situation that allows pets again.

Probably what I'm most excited about is the possibility of doggy costumes. I know what you're thinking. That I wouldn't actually do such a thing to my dog. Well, friends, you are sadly mistaken. I've already begun planning a Halloween costume and a Christmas ensemble.

For your viewing pleasure, below are some of my favorite dachshund costumes.

The Hotdog (OK, not exactly a costume, but pretty cute, right?!)

Swiss Miss

Fire Chief

Canadian Mountie