Whoopie pies

Sweet Potato Whoopie Pies (Inspired by James Taylor)

Whoopie pies

Earlier this year, my friend Daphne Carr launched a Kickstarter project to publish the Best Music Writing book series independently, through her new music-focused press Feedback Press. (BMW is an anthology of the year’s best conversation about music, in the form of features, essays, reviews, blog posts, etc.) One of the pledge options toward the project’s $15,000 goal was for me to bake treats inspired by the artist or song of the backer’s choice, and this was the first of the two purchased, inspired by James Taylor’s “Carolina In My Mind.”

THE DISH
Sweet potato whoopie pies with maple cream cheese frosting and candied pecans

THE INSPIRATION
James Taylor grew up in North Carolina and he wrote his hit song “Carolina In My Mind” when he was homesick overseas. I chose sweet potatoes because North Carolina is the No. 1 producer of them in the U.S., so they might help with a little bit of homesickness. And while I was brainstorming for this, my aunt unknowingly (via Facebook — thanks, Aunt Linda!) tipped me off to videos of James Taylor baking pecan pies and maple sugaring, so I made the sweet potato whoopie pies, then rolled them in pecans that I candied with maple syrup and brown sugar.

Read More »

Poo Cloud Whoopie Pies (inspired by Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy)

http://listen.grooveshark.com/songWidget.swf

THE DISH
Coconut whoopie pies! (Yep, they are good enough to warrant an exclamation point. Recipe after the cut.)

THE INSPIRATION
A few months ago my friend Amanda and I made cupcakes with mini pumpkin pies in them (inspired by a recipe on Bake It In A Cake). I had a ton of pumpkin pie filling left over, so later that week my friend Lauren and I decided to use it to make pumpkin whoopie pies. Figuring out the recipe required some serious math skills since we were working with pie filling, not just pumpkin puree … Anyway, by some miracle they came out perfectly — when we peeled the cakelike cookies off the wax paper, they were like perfect, fluffy, pillowy clouds.

However, this was before I had my amazing batter scoops, so some of them didn’t look so pretty. In fact, Lauren and I decided that a few of them sort of resembled dog poo. See where I’m going with this? Dog poo … fluffy clouds … poo clouds … Owen Pallett’s record He Poos Clouds… Get it?! And — so this whole post isn’t about my having the maturity of a 13-year-old (just most of it) — they really are a great match for the delicacy of Pallett’s music. A little more on that below.

So here are our whoopie pies, Take Two, except this time they’re pretty, they’re lighter, and they do not look like poo. Let me tell you, these are heavenly, and despite how insanely sweet they are, I promise you won’t be able to eat just one.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
If we’ve ever talked about music, there’s a good chance I’ve mentioned my love for Owen Pallett (until about a year ago, he performed as Final Fantasy). He’s a Canadian singer/songwriter/composer who has arranged music for and/or played with a bazillion artists (including Grizzly Bear, Beirut, the Pet Shop Boys, Mika, he’s written string arrangements for and played with Arcade Fire…), and his most recent record Heartland, his first under his own name instead of FF, was my favorite of 2010. A lot of his earlier music is rooted in delicately looped violin parts and vocals, with other orchestration on and off; Heartland has plenty of that, but it’s bigger and more produced, with more electronic elements and layers of vocals.
Owen Pallett on MySpace

Read More »