Thursday, May 3, 2012

Italian Cream Cake Whoopie Pies and the power of music

 What does this picture have to do with this post?  It is a coconut tree, isn't it lovely?

Here is a pecan grove, can you see Scarlet O'Hara in the way off yonder?

Thankful for my Louisiana roots, and for instilling in me a love of pecans at a wee age.

Do you listen to music?  What is your poison of choice? Radio, cd, pandora, grooveshark, live performances?

What is your genre of choice?  Pop, rock, country, classical, Christian, rap, opera?  I used to think that if I drove around blaring classical music people would think I was smart, intelligent, classy, and sophisticated.  Then I got sick of not having words to sing along with, and that idea fizzled out like pop rocks on my tongue. 

I was filling my car up with gas the other day and an old man drove up to the pump next to me with some kind of sweet old smooth car (pardon my complete ignorance of all things car related)...all I can say is it looked like a car a member of the rat pack would be driving.  He was blaring old school jazz music with the windows down, and was dressed like a swing kid, hat and all.  I was very compelled to cross over the window wiper box and give this man a high five.  If only I could be that cool when I am his age...heck, if only I could be that cool right now!  I realized in that moment what a pivotal role music played in making this man appear as authentic as he seemed.  The music literally transported me pack to the streets in a scene from "Guys and Dolls". 

Music is such a powerful tool!  When I listen to country music I instantly pick up an accent, and start to 2 step in my head.  When I listen to Christian music I am comforted and at peace.  When I listen to the YMCA I am instantly at a wedding attempting to remember the alphabet.  When I listen to dance music I instantly imagine I have really good rhythm and have the best moves ever.  Really, have you ever stopped and thought about the power music has over a person?  If you sing a child to sleep you are really hypnotizing them into restful sleep...sneaky Moms.

Many of you have heard me say this, but really everything is better when sung!  Imagine if your life was a musical?  Have you ever tried fighting with someone while singing all the words you want to get across to them?  Try it.  Say "What you did really hurts my feelings and I seek an apology." try singing it!  So much better right?  I feel as if your true emotions are better communicated through song.  Next time I find myself in a fight I am singing my way out of it.  Let me know how that goes for you if you try this technique as well.  If it works I am going to conduct a field study and write a book about it.

Now this recipe might look familiar, and it is.  It is just my vanilla bean cupcake recipe that I recently posted made into whoopie pies sandwiched with cream cheese icing and rolled in toasted pecans and coconut.  Man, I wish I hadn't given them all away yesterday, I really want one right now!

Listen to this lovely peaceful song, make these whoopie pies for your friends, and reexamine the power the music you listen to has over you.

Jon Foreman - In the House of God forever
Only picture I was able to get before sending them off, I was in a hurry and made these in under 30 minutes!

Italian Cream Cake Whoopie Pies

1½ cups all-purpose flour PLUS 2 TBS

1 cup granulated sugar

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon table salt

1 Stick unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup sour cream, room temperature

1 large egg , room temperature

2 large egg yolks , room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (optional...if you don't have this just swap it with extra vanilla extract)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie trays with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.

Using a 1oz ice cream scoop or a TBS scoop onto pan a few space apart from each other, because they will spread.  Bake until tops are pale golden 10-15 minutes.  Cool on parchment before taking off pan.  I had to use a spatula to get them off without breaking.

1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1 cup toasted coconut

Cream Cheese filling

8 ounces cream cheese , at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter , at room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar (about 4 1/2 cups sifted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese for a few seconds until smooth.  Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat just until smooth.  If you over mix cream cheese frosting it will become runny and you can't fix it.

Pipe about 1 1/2 TBS of filling onto half of the cookies.  Sandwich in between an uniced cookie.  Roll edges in coconut and pecans.

Eat your heart out,


1 comment:

  1. Dags,

    I totally agree with you about the power of music! I love such a blend, it's hard to pick my favorite. Guess it depends on my mood. :D

    ps. Thanks for the was beautiful! Keep up the great posts, I love reading them!

    xoxo ~ Mona