After surviving the dark days of sophomore year, I have to say, I was pretty excited to be entering junior year with a refreshingly humanities-focused course load. As important as the hard sciences are for establishing the basic foundational knowledge, I think it's valuable and extremely rewarding to also explore the humanities side of health and medicine through classes like health activism and global bioethics -- classes I'm taking this quarter. They show the transformative impact of health, medical, and research policies on people in daily life, as well as the reciprocal effect of the people on medical institutions and health models.
It helps to keep in perspective the end goal of medicine, which is not just science for the pure sake of science, but for the purpose of helping people. That is, at least, what I like to think about when times get tough. Just keepin' it real.
Still, as much as I'm enjoying the theoretical idea behind my 3-day weekend schedule this quarter, I'm surprised to find myself constantly wishing for more hours in a day. I guess life of a humanities major is not the cake-walk I had imagined (or willfully wished) it to be? Or maybe I'm just crazy and trying to do too many things at once...oops
I am particularly fond of these chocolate whoopie pies because they are an adaptation of my favorite red velvet cupcakes recipe, with the same batter and cream cheese frosting -- just without the red food coloring. The cake is super moist thanks to the sour cream, and the cream cheese frosting is the perfect consistency for piping...not to mention, totally spoon-licking delicious. I love recipes like this which are so versatile and crowd-pleasing.
A couple notes on this recipe: I used a whoopie pie pan for consistent whoopie pie shapes. I'm sure a muffin pan or mini muffin pan would work just as well. Just be sure to add a minimal amount of batter to each well, just enough to cover the bottom. The batter will rise as it bakes. Enjoy!
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Carrot Top Mom | Time: 1 hour | Yield: ~20 whoopie pies
For the whoopie pies:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, cold
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Add sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Stir in baking soda, then slowly add cocoa and flour. Mix slowly until just combined. Do not over mix. Bake for 5 - 7 minutes, until puffy and toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely to room temperature.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth. Fill piping bag (or makeshift ziplock piping bag) and pipe onto the backs of the cooled whoopie pies. Put the two whoopie pies together. Enjoy!