Monday, May 07, 2012

When I'm sad, I bake

My almost 30-year old cousin passed away last night, after a very long battle with a rare form of cancer. I'll never forget when he was first diagnosed. We were both sophomores at Indiana University, when my mom called and told me that he'd been admitted to the Bloomington hospital with very terrible stomach pains. I left Spirit of Sport in the HPER and rushed to the hospital to see him, but only for a few minutes, as he was in the ICU.

That was 10 years ago. He's had 10 years of fighting and living his life to the fullest.

This past fall, the doctors said that there was nothing else they could do for him. That side of my family gathered for Thanksgiving, and our "what am I thankful circle" was more emotional than other years. I don't think there was a dry eye in that room, but I feel comfort in knowing that my cousin is no longer in pain and no longer has to wonder silently to himself when his last day on earth is going to be. He's in a much better place now, where cancer doesn't live and worries are no longer.

There really isn't a good segue into the next part of this post, other than to say that as the true emotional eater that I am, I baked today, and then took the goodies over to our neighbors. I made banana whoopie pies and oh man, they turned out really great. Here's the recipe (from with some changes by me (different filling)).

Banana Whoopie Pies

For the pies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling (you can be extra fancy and do half cream cheese frosting, and half peanut butter. I've included both recipes below.)
Cream cheese frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese
6 T. unsalted butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until thoroughly combined.

Peanut Butter:
6 T. unsalted butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

Throw everything into the mixer and cream together until smooth.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a medium bowl; set aside.  

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl and beater, and beat in egg on medium speed until combined. Beat in banana, sour cream, and vanilla until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add flour mixture in batches until completely combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  

4. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag fitted with a small round pastry tip. Pipe six 2 1/2-inch round mounds onto each pan, placing them 3 inches apart (try to make the mounds the same size). Bake until light golden, 12-15 minutes.

5.  Remove pans from oven and slide the parchment sheet of cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely. Line baking sheets with fresh paper and repeat process with remaining batter.

6. Once the cookies are cool, put the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (or really any tip will do!). Pipe some frosting on one half of the flat side of the cookie, and top with the other half. The whoopie pies can remain out for ~3 hours - any time after that, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. 



Anonymous said...

Hugs and prayers for all of the Brodhacker family.

Love, Anne and Danny

Maddy's Mommy said...

These look delicious! So sorry for the loss of your cousin.y