When it comes to food and creating an eye-catching table spread, it’s possible to take direction from anywhere - including the world of fashion. Inspired by Coco Chanel’s iconic, tweed pastel skirt suits, home baker and event planner Amy Atlas created this beautiful spread, featured in her book Sweet Designs, using inexpensive materials elegantly dressed up in an oh-so-Coco tailored bow.
While the whole spread may be a little much for the less creative among us, one delicious element worth trying is the scrumptious Banana Whoopie Pies recipe...
Makes about 12 3½-inch Whoopie Pies
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
¼ cup sour cream
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING:
2 cups mascarpone at room temperature
4 tablespoons sugar
Step 1. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a medium bowl; set aside.
Step 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, scrap¬ing down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Step 4. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag fitted with a round pastry tip. Pipe six 2½-inch round mounds onto each pan, spacing them 3 inches apart. Bake until light golden, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through.
Step 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.
Step 6. Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the mascarpone and sugar in a small bowl and mix with a rubber spatula until the sugar is thoroughly incorporated.
Step 7. Once the cookies are cool, spread 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the flat side of ½ of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies and arrange on a platter in a single layer. The whoopie pies can remain at room temperature up to 3 hours. To store, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Images and recipe from Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas. Copyright (C) 2012 Amy Atlas and The Stonesong Press, LLC. Published by Hyperion. Available from Amazon from £15.99. All Rights Reserved.