Wow. It’s been exactly 10 months since the last The Gourmet Gourmand post. I could offer up apologies and say things like “I promise to be better in the future,” but as of right now I’m not entirely sure I will be better in the future. So instead, I will give you a peace offering in the form of a recipe entitled: Whoopie Pie Hearts with Raspberry Buttercream and pray to the Flying Spaghetti Monster for forgiveness.
You see, we bought a house. A fixer upper house. And I’ve been DIY-ing the heck out of it. (Naturally).
As many of you know, we live in Southern California, so houses out here are outrageously expensive. Thus, in order to find something in our budget, we needed to buy something that was not in tip-top condition. It wasn’t thaaaaaat bad, considering the options (I actually had to tell our realtor no drug dens after one of our viewings), but to give you an idea… we had a flood on the day we moved in, we needed to get our floors almost entirely redone from top to bottom, one of the bathrooms came completed gutted, and it needs an entire landscape overhaul.
Even though it’s been incredibly stressful and time consuming, I have to say, the house is perfect for us. It’s our little starter house that we are sinking our blood, sweat, and tears into. (Literally – I inherited an extremely thorny bougainvillea that is determined to murder me). And we’re learning so much about general life skills (hello new miter saw expert!), our relationship, and pride of ownership.
Plus we now have a kitchen that can accommodate two adults, instead of just one, which means now Dave has no excuses for avoiding me when I demand sous chef services. And we actually have a *yard* where we can have parties and bonfires.
However, the most important part of the house is my new ART STUDIO! So now I actually have some space to be creative, and am not dodging a bed in the guest room, or lugging all my paints and supplies to my very part-time art class/sort-of studio.
Painting has always been my number 1 creative love, and what I’ve realized during the last 10 month hiatus is that while cooking, blogging, and photography are important to me – when push comes to shove, I am going to choose painting. (But the house takes entire priority because humans are actually required to have shelter… Maslow’s and all that…).
So, this is my story and I’m sticking to it. I *hope* to have more time now to dedicate to both blogging and painting, but the proof will be in the pudding (or whoopie pies).
Enjoy this one, guys! And if you are so inclined – you can take a look at some of my art over at my Art Website. I’ve been busy!
Whoopie Pie Hearts with Raspberry Buttercream
For the Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup of hot water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Buttercream
- 1/2 cup butter room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 pints raspberries pureed (or about 1/4 cup raspberry jam)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment, or grease well.
- 2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined.
- 3. Add buttermilk, mix until combined.
- 4. Add flour, salt, and cocoa, mix until combined.
- 5. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add mixture to the batter, and mix until liquid is incorporated.
- 6. Place batter in piping bag or in large ziplock (cut off corner, about 1/2 inch). Create heart shapes by piping two V-shapes - use about 1 tablespoon of batter per heart.
- 7. Bake for 8 minutes, or until just set - should not be crispy.
- 8. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to cooling racks.
For the Buttercream
- 1. If using fresh raspberries, puree them in a blender with about 1/4 cup of water. Add to a small saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring regularly, until liquid reduces and thickens. It should be about the texture of polenta/grits.
- 2. Press fruit through fine-mesh sieve, and set aside.
- 3. In a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, and raspberries -- either 1/4 cup of jam, or 1/4 cup of strained raspberry puree. Mix until well-combined. If too thick, add more puree or jam, if too thin, add more powdered sugar. (Err on the side of thick for this recipe, so the frosting does not ooze out of the whoopie pies).
- 4. Place frosting in piping bag or 1 gallon ziplock with corner cut out (about 1/2 inch). Pipe onto cooled heart cookie, and then top with another heart cookie.