Yum, yum: DIY Whoopie Pies

Carly was feeling domestic again, and decided to take on the project of baking her very own version of the uber-trendy dessert, whoopie pies, complete with her very own expert (Bubbie), photographer (Dad) and intern/clean-up crew (Mom). Success or #fail? Read on to find out. 

Like most good cooking blogs, this one begins with a trip to the mall. To get your Bakerella on, buy whoopie pie mix, courtesy of Williams-Sonoma. You’re well on your way to success, and no one needs to know that it’s not from scratch.

Back at home, take your mix and line it up with your other ingredients. That’s one egg, lots of butter, and a jar of Marshmallow Fluff. Smile big for the camera.

Beat the butter until whipped. For those of you that forgot to leave the butter out for optimal room temperature whipping purposes, feel free to microwave the stuff. I did. Then, mix ingredients together:

Add egg.
Pour in mix.

Beat until there’s no more nasty clumps. 
If your mix looks weird, call in the expert. It is likely that you forgot an ingredient. Just sayin’.
Pour in forgotten ingredient (in this case…milk). Beat again.
Spoon clump-free batter into 16 cookie shapes on parchment-lined baking sheet .
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees Celsius. Wear chic oven mitts with your stripe-on-plaid outfit, and take out when fluffy. It is also not a bad idea to pre-heat the oven (oops).

On to the filling: it’s Marshmallow Fluff time. Use the whole jar. 

It’s a sticky situation, so have your expert on hand.

Let’s put these whoopies together now, people. Begin with one chocolate cookie. 

Spread the icing over the cookie, and top off with a second cookie. If I made the icing bit look easy, trust that it isn’t.

Press cookies into place, and show off your new polish change in Blue My Mind by OPI.

Enjoy them, but not too many of them. It will hurt your stomach.

Serve these special thank-yous to your crew. 

Special shout out to my expert baker (Bubbie), photographer (father) and clean-up crew (thanks, Mom).

Rave: Pie

They say the cupcake trend is over. While we personally aren’t quite ready to give up our red velvet snack habit just yet, much like any good investigative journalists (read: Lisa Ling), we had research to do.

Essentially, we ate pie, and lots of it, from top spots The Canadian Pie Company, Chudleigh’s, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky and The Drake Hotel. Oh, the things we do in the name of research.

The Canadian Pie Company
Known as an American classic, The Canadian Pie Company is proving that those of us north of the border know a thing or two about the fruit-filled dessert. Only a few short months ago, Keren and Erez Hadad set up pie shop in Riverdale, and since the reviews have been nothing short of sweet. 
Sold in 40 fresh daily varieties, the company’s pies are filled with all fruit and no sugar. For dessert too healthy to taste this good, bakery visitors are left to choose between sweet fruit pies like peach-raspberry and white cherry. And for those with salty over sweet preferences in your life, serve up The Canadian Pie Company’s shepherd’s pie or Atlantic salmon and broccoli. 
Chudleigh’s Apple Farm
Way back from our apple picking days, Chudleigh’s Apple Farm in Milton was the place to climb fruit trees, pick pumpkins and eat one slice too many of their world famous pie. The baked deliciousness is sold in bumbleberry and pumpkin flavours, but the apple pie is the stuff the crowds line up for. 
 Apple pie blossom: another delicious treat. Image source.
Filled with freshly baked northern spy apples, dusted with cinnamon sugar, the pie is available in traditional pastry crust or with a delicious crumble top. For a little taste of comfort, warm yours up and top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a piece of cheddar.
Wanda’s Pie in the Sky
Dessert dreams come true with Wanda’s Pie in the Sky in Kensington market. Made with all-natural ingredients, the pies are baked in Niagara peach, Ontario sour cherry, pear cranberry, traditional raisin and other fruity flavours. 
 Yummy wild blueberry pie. Image source.
From sweet to tangy, all pies are baked in buttery trans-fat free crusts. If cream pies are your thing, their key lime pie brings an original coconut-graham cracker crust to this longtime fan favourite.
Drake BBQ
Who says pies have to be fruit-filled? Not the Drake. They’ve got the pie for chocolate lovers. A gourmet take on the Oreo, whoopie pies are fun cake sandwiches with frosting middles. 
 Whoopie pies – what a steal! Image source.

Baked by Chef Anthony Rose, these pies are the perfect treat after a Drake BBQ dinner. Whoopie! 
Celebrate the fact that spring is almost here with some juicy fruit baked in pastry. Yum.

Yum yum: Wedding cakes and desserts

Some of us have been planning our weddings since the day we could say “Vera Wang”. And, with a few brides-to-be on the fourth floor, wedding talk has been amped up a notch (or seven).
Once he’s put a ring on it, many important decisions must be made. While choosing between calla lily bouquets and rose arrangements will prove difficult for many brides-to-be, not all decisions must be so. 

We chatted with Catherine Lash, the brains behind the boutique Wedding Show (January 14 to 16 at the Carlu!), about must-have sweets at 2011 nuptials. In her expert opinion, “it’s not just about the cake anymore.”

“The centerpiece of the wedding has become the stylized sweet table. Think macarons, meringue, biscotti and gourmet candy. But, the cake is still the star of the show.”
She pointed us in the direction of two amazing dessert and cake makers. Forget Say Yes to the Dress and say “I do” to these one-of-a-kind wedding desserts from Cake Opera Co. and Bobette & Belle.  

Straight from the kitchen of this chic bakery, cake girl geniuses Alexandria Pellegrino and Jessica Smith whip up the best crazy-original couture desserts. 

From the simple to the outrageous and everything in between, Cake Opera Co. has the macaron towers, designer cupcakes, handmade marshmallows and quirky cakes for any fabulous occasion.

Done up in non-traditional shades of grey and muted pink, influenced by current fashion, 2011 wedding cakes are all vintage-inspired glam. Decidedly posh and playfully textured, Cake Opera Co.’s confections come in a variety of flavours, from lemon blueberry to banana with salted caramel ganache. 

For a whimsical touch, top your cake with Lacroix-inspired gems and flowers, Gothic pirate ships, floating butterflies, Victorian-styled figurines or even feathered birds.

While they set up (bake) shop in midtown Toronto about a month ago, the Cake Opera Co. already has a following of Hollywood starlets that only continues to grow. For their much-anticipated wedding, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden offered guests a taste of the company’s red velvet cake. Decorated with look-alike figures dressed in her Marchesa dress and bearing his tattoos, the white, black, turquoise and 24-karat gold-trimmed cake has the gossip mags buzzing.    

Nicole Richie and Joel Madden’s gorgeous cake. 
With desserts inspired by Chanel and Elie Saab, Holt Renfrew can barely keep Bobette and Belle’s oh-so pretty and delicious macarons in stock. That’s because when it comes to dessert, Bobette and Belle is always one fashionable step ahead.
The owners of the sweet shop, Sarah Bell and Allyson Meredith Bobbitt, bake fancy cakes that are nothing short of spectacular. They also offer soon-to-be brides a non-traditional dessert route to wedded bliss. 

Wow guests with sweet tables filled with macaron towers in Gianduja (chocolate flavoured with hazelnut paste), salted caramel, passion fruit and pistachio flavours. 

Customize yours in small or large sizes, and choose from trendy 2011 purples, lush pinks and metallic colours to match your event. 

For the ultimate in up-and-coming trendy treats, skip cupcakes in favour of whoopie pies. The chic version of an Oreo, whoopie pies are the new “it” dessert of choice. Fun and tasty, guests won’t be able to get enough of them. 

Hungry yet? 

PS: For more inspiration on choosing your wedding cake, check out this Wedding Bells article