Once upon a time…
...there was a girl, an afternoon, and a recipe. She had made Whoopie Pies before. Many times actually, many, many times before. This time was different though. A new recipe. An outsider. Butter, not oil. Buttermilk, not regular. Brown, not white sugar. Curiosity got the best of her and she decided to venture into the new. The old recipe would just have to turn its cheek and not look. It wasn’t cheating it was, just…experimentation. These things happen.
With a quick whisk, the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt became more acquainted. They sat patiently as the butter and the brown sugar went for a complete whirlwind in the mixer. At first they resisted, and then surrendered to the persistent paddle, only to become a happier, fluffier pair.
They were shocked on how different their relationship became once introduced to the egg. And who was this vanilla character, so small but mighty? Even softer the batter became, as the brown sugar fully relaxed and its harsh granules were practically lost.
As cordial, to-be batter-mates, the flour mixture took turns with the buttermilk in joining the rest in the bowl. After you. No, no, after you! Together they were all as thick as thieves, but reserved in their sweetness and chocolaty undertones.
The batter was stubborn on the baking sheets, persisting on staying in the exact shape they were dropped in with jagged peaks and rugged curves. The whispers of the oven, though, convinced them to be otherwise, and after 15 minutes new, conformed cakes magically appeared. Round and smooth, they were perfectly prepped for their next role as frosting bookends.
Frosting. Back to the battle of butter + sugar vs. paddle. Paddle, undefeated, won easily, especially against the flirtatious flightiness of the confectioner’s sugar. Marshmallow fluff let the salt and vanilla be next, and finally flopped into the bowl as the guest celebrity. Thick but fluffy, smooth and sweet; but inoffensively so.
It took its final resting place on half of the flat-sided cakes, curled in a spiral like a sleeping puppy on its bed. As the other cake was placed on top, the smallest bit of pressure encouraged the frosting to slowly peer out beyond the circular edge from its new home.
Like a happy, new (sandwiched) couple, the cake and the frosting were even better together than they were apart. The sweet filling told the cake to be proud of and show off that cocoa flavor, and the cake made the frosting even more irresistible; leaving the tongue longing for its creamy consistency against the drier, crumby cake.
This newcomer was similar, but different. And, satisfyingly delicious, that was for sure. The girl was happy as she thoughtfully digested her new experience, reminding her that it is always good to explore the unknown, while keeping the trusted and familiar not far behind.