Professional finish be damned, my sweet tooth was aching.

My, That Was a Lot of Work Cookies

During my recent bake-a-t(h)on with Jess D, from which emerged the ostentatiously delicious Oreo-stuffed chocolate chipper, we also knocked off our first batch of these mint and ganache-filled whoopie pies from Epicurious. I made Round II today with Billy the Kid, who acted as my enthusiastic emergency finger-licker, since this batch is reserved solely for Peña bellies. Jess generously contributed a new essential to the tiniest functioning kitchen on the Eastern Seaboard: a whoopie pie pan! Finally, there is officially no excuse for cakelette disks of any other kind than perfect circles.

I’m not a huge mint fan, and Mr. P knows that he’ll always find his packages of Girl Scout Thin Mints untouched, no matter how long they wait in the cupboard. These ladies, however, wear mint so delicately that my palate was refreshingly unjarred by the often abrasive essence. The consistency of the filling is similar, I imagine, to whipped angel, and the semisweet chocolate “glue” edges the whole thing into oeuvre territory. They’re embarrassingly unconcerned with undoing gender stereotypes, however, and take forever to get dressed. So if you have a few free hours and inches in your pants, you’ll want to take advantage of yet another opportunity to assert that no one should feel badly; you’re just better.

Weight gain is no longer an issue. By any means.

Mr. P’s New Favorite Cake (Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake)

Next up in my baking queue, as I spend a good deal of time these days browsing other people’s cooking blogs in search of new pastry horizons with which to appease my incessant cake cravings, was Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake from Our Best Bites, a site that receives automatic link status in light of this dessert’s attainable yet fancy presentation, as well as its innovative use of standard cake components. I was immediately intrigued by the eggless mousse filling that calls for gelatin, one of those mysterious packet powders I categorize with yeast and pectin. Your stomach will no doubt sink when you see the whipped chocolate “mousse” turn to soup with the addition of the gelatin-water, but I assure you that after thirty minutes in the fridge, all will be right with your first-world once more. Truly impressive is this cake’s ability to shrug off the heat and humidity; while I generally avoid cake mixes (in my opinion, effort is an ingredient), they do practically jump out of the pans themselves. The chocolate ganache frosting was easier than expected – I used semi-sweet baking chocolate squares, roughly chopped, and two minutes in the microwave was all it took to melt them adequately.

Having just finished a heaping plateful of spaghetti and meatballs, I’m taking a post-dishes breather before I face my last 500-calorie intake of the day, but the boys are already hard at work, cramming away their first slices with the occasional “nom” punctuating the silence. I just called over to Mr. P, inquiring if he approves of the crunch element, to which he instantly avered, “yes. Yes I do.” Once again, I followed the recipe pretty much word for word, so I won’t repost it here, since that would be ridiculously redundant as well as fairly lame. Just follow the link above – I’ve taken the liberty of having it open in a new tab so that you don’t stray too far from my wit and charm.

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