We spend so much of our lives trying to adhere to what someone determines to be “the way” or the “right” thing to do. But is this really what we should be doing? Are we being true to our authentic selves by following what society deems to be correct?
I could get into the really long philosophical debate. The libertarian utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill, who felt that society had no right butting their nose into anybody else’s business, so long as no harm was being done to anyone else. Or maybe you’d rather a paternalistic approach–that people don’t always know what’s “right” and therefore we should help them by setting guidelines, as we’re only looking out for their best interests. But really, it’s summer and my brain is a little fried. Besides, I don’t talk politics, and I know that’s where this would head.
I’m thinking more along the lines of food. Authentic recipes, to be exact. Because there are two distinct schools of thought in the kitchen–those who adhere strongly to the ways things have always been done, preserving the past as best they can–and those who are willing to take a chance and see what changing things up a bit can do.
When I found my first whoopie pie recipe on the internet, it was in a blog post extolling the virtues of making them the authentic way–the “real” way. Anything that deviated from that path was an abomination and did not deserve the title of “whoopie pie.” For a while, I bought into this, insisting to everyone else that the “right” way was the only way to make whoopie pies. Nothing else would do.
Then I listened to my heart. I investigated other options. I even made a Car Bomb Whoopie Pie in March, testing the boundaries and seeing how far I was willing to go. The time had come to move on.
Just because something has “always” been done a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the only way. “Authentic” does not = better. It’s just a way of doing things.
I’m glad I opened my mind to other options. Even though these may not be the whoopie pies of two or three generations ago, they are no less deserving of the distinction. There is room for more at my table and I welcome them all with open arms.
- 8 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
- 5-7 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp Triple Sec
- 1 Tbsp Peachtree peach schnapps
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped donut peaches
- 1-2 pinches fine sea salt
- 1¾ cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped donut peaches (about 4 whole donut peaches, peeled)
- ½ cup light cream
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp fine sea salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and 5 cups of confectioners sugar. Blend until smooth, then add the vanilla extract, Triple Sec, Peachtree, chopped peaches, and sea salt. Add confectioners sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and olive oil. Stir until there are no clumps of sugar left. Stir in the chopped peaches and then the light cream. Once blended well, add the eggs, incorporating completely. Add half the flour and all the rest of the dry ingredients and stir until it just comes together. Add the rest of the flour and again, stir until it just comes together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I ended up refrigerating for 4 hours because I had to run some errands).
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove batter from refrigerator and using a cookie scoop (I have an OXO one, but I’m not sure what the actual size is–small or medium), drop mounds of batter onto your cookie sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove from cookie sheet immediately to a wire rack to cool.
- Once completely cooled, you can assemble. The easiest way is to slather some cream cheese filling with a butter knife on the flat side of one whoopie, apply the flat side of another, and press lightly together. But you may tear the bottoms that way, so you can also use a pastry bag and tip to apply the cream cheese filling, if you so choose. I have an Easy Accent Decorator from Pampered Chef and that’s what I used.
- Wrap individually in plastic wrap or put in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.