Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies: Whoopie Pies for Celeste
Middle school is hard. Just ask Celeste, the main character from Erin Dionne's Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies - every day she has to deal with Lively, the oh-so-perfect pretty girl, making fun of her just because she's a little bit overweight. Or maybe more than a little bit... but that's no reason for Lively to moo at her, is it? And while it was really nice for her cousin to invite her to be a bridesmaid, did she have to pick an ugly peach dress that won't look right no matter how hard the seamstress tries to fix it? But at least she has an awesome best friend, and life is pretty uneventful otherwise.
At least, it was. But that was before her best friend Sandra started hanging out with Lively (what?!) and missing their nightly phone calls, and before her aunt signed her up to be in the Miss HuskyPeach contest. Celeste has no desire to be "on a runway for all the world to see. No. No way. Never." But her aunt and her mother won't take no for an answer, so it seems like the only way to get out of the spotlight is to do something drastic: she's going to have to lose enough weight that she's not husky anymore, and then she'll shrink right out of the contest. But can she make herself exercise (gross!) and eat better? And - harder still - is she willing to give up Oreos?
This book is fantastic. It's for older children or even younger teens; though there's nothing inappropriate in it for the younger set, talk of body image might go a bit over their heads. It was also totally appropriate for me, and even though I picked it up because of the food in the title (okay, I admit it), I couldn't put this book down. It had me tearing up at a few points and laughing out loud at others, and at one point, I actually cried out, "oh no!!!" so suddenly that I woke up the cat. While I picked it up thinking, "I know some good chocolate cookie recipes," I had a better idea. I'm completely supportive of Celeste's weight loss efforts, and I made her a low-calorie Oreo substitute: the soda cake whoopie pie.
For those not in the know, a whoopie pie is two cake rounds with a cream filling inside. (Have you seen Oreo Cakesters? Kinda like that.) They're delicious. I decided to make them out of soda cake, which is a cake made out of cake mix and a can of diet soda, which sounds really weird, but it's low-calorie (diet soda having no calories, and cake mix being nonfat as it is, this makes a very low-calorie treat), and quite tasty. You can use any combination of cake flavor and soda flavor, so you can have an orange-soda-vanilla-cake creamsicle soda cake, or a black-cherry-soda-and-chocolate-cake black forest soda cake. (Yes, it sounds weird, but it's so good that my boyfriend couldn't tell it wasn't real cake.) Since oreos are chocolate, I used devil's food cake and diet Dr. Pepper, which gave it an awesome chocolatey flavor. And since cream filling isn't exactly diet-friendly, I used Cool Whip Free in the middle.
Whoopie Pies For Celeste
1 box cake mix (I used Devil's Food)
1 can diet soda (I used diet Dr. Pepper)
Cool Whip Free
1) Preheat your oven according to cake mix directions. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
2) Mix almost all of your can of soda and all of the cake mix until combined and the bubbles stop (I used 11 oz. of soda - take a nice big sip and you should be fine. For whoopie pies, you want your batter to be a little thicker than regular cake batter If you're just making regular cake or cupcakes, you can use the whole can). Spoon out drops of batter onto your cookie sheet, keeping a couple inches between each in case of spreading. (Mine didn't spread very much, but your mileage may vary.)
3) Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the batter stops wiggling.
4) Once the cake rounds are cool, put one round upside-down onto a piece of plastic wrap, and top with a dollop of Cool Whip. Add a second cake round, and wrap the whole thing in plastic. Put it in the freezer and enjoy when frozen and delicious.
As always, I love it when people leave me comments, either here or on my Facebook fan page, or send me emails at KatCooksTheBooks@gmail.com. As a special incentive, the first person to email me and the first person to comment on my FB page will get a special awesome recipe that I can't seem to find a place for on here, but which is awesome and delicious.