Thursday, October 6, 2011

Food Torture

...aka, making pumpkin whoopie pies on the first day of a thirty-day nutrition cleanup.

So, Saturday - October 1 - marked the first day of the CFCC BCCC. Which is also the first day of my thirty days of no cheat meals (or, as Drywall would say, no kip meals). It was also the day that my friends and I had been planning for weeks to have dinner. I was put in charge of dessert, which, as a rule, makes me happy, since I love to bake. (Mostly for the batter, actually. I feel "meh" about actual baked goods, for the most part - with a few exceptions. But raw cookie dough or raw cake batter? Oh god, sign me up. And give me salmonella. Whatever.)

If I were a complete jerkface I'd have brought a bowl of mixed berries to my friend's house. But not so much. Instead, I did what I usually do when I can't decide what to bake - scour EatLiveRun's "recipes" page and find something fabulous.


I know Jenna's a baking genius, but it's little things like this that make it clear. Along with the usual suspects in pumpkin baking (cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg), these whoopie pies had a little bit of white pepper. I assume it brings out the other flavors. Maybe I'll make these again in November and make sure.

So, we go from this

to this.

While they cooled, I got to work with this:

SO NOT PALEO. Or, well, I guess this part (where it's just a ton of softened butter all whipped up) is arguably paleo. In someone's world. If you wanted to lick whipped butter off of the beater. Which even I did not.

I particularly love making baked goods that include homemade frosting. I guess it's because something like a basic vanilla buttercream is so freaking easy, but it's one of those things that most people don't do, so they find it impressive. Like driving stick, or using chopsticks.

A little piece of me died inside when I couldn't taste this. Instead, I called PhillyGuy in from the living room, where he was parked watching football, to taste the buttercream for me. "Does it need more vanilla? What if I added some cinnamon and made half of them with cinnamon filling?" Poor guy's got it rough.

After the cakes (pies? cookies? whatever) were cooled, I piped in the frosting and assembled everything. Behold, the whoopie pie.

Once again, I had PhillyGuy sample the finished product to make sure it was OK. This was unnerving, because here I was, bringing eighteen homemade whoopie pies - something I'd never made before - to dinner with friends without having tasted them AT ALL to make sure they were okay. And trust me, I have screwed up some baked goods before. Like that time I tried to make candy cane Joe-Joe's. THAT was not pretty.

But he gave his seal of approval. And my friends all gave their seals of approval. I think between the seven-and-a-half (including my friend's 11-month-old daughter, who heartily approved of the whoopie pie) others who were at dinner, at least half of the whoopie pies went that night, and I distributed the rest of them to my friends to take home.

Perhaps a piece of me died a little inside, but I'm pretty proud to report that this food torture went down without my tasting so much as a single scrap of cake, drip of batter or speck of flour. One of my friends commented on my "amazing willpower." I definitely do NOT have amazing willpower. What I do have is the ability to flip a switch inside my brain once I decide I am on a structured plan of some kind.

And also it helps when you start your day with a good solid sweat, and then eat this before you bake.

(Three eggs over-easy, served over a handful of baby spinach, half a diced sweet potato cooked in a skillet with some chopped onion, and two beautiful slices of fresh cut black forest bacon from Whole Foods.)



  1. Those look SO delicious (the pumpkin whoopie pies, I mean). I feel like I've seen them either on your blog before, or on someone else's though, because I know I have the recipe and I haven't been brave enough to attempt them yet.

  2. I'm planning to make those this weekend! They look fabulous - I cannot BELIEVE you didn't eat any dough. That's my favorite part! Usually I've eaten enough dough that by the time they're done, I don't even want any.