Behind The Butter

last weekend

I tried to make caramels….twice. They were a fail the first time and a fail the second time. When dealing with boiling hot sugar, there’s no third times a charm.

So then I baked sixty pumpkin whoopie pies for church. With Becca! Becca was a blog reader became real life friend! I love it when that happens. We cut her bangs last girls night and named them Blake.

What better way to spend a Saturday than baking with a friend and her sweet new bangs? It totally redeemed the caramel failure! Except somehow I remarkably made the exact number of whoopie pies needed for sunday’s service, which meant no “broken cookie to sample”.

Have you guys made these yet? I know it’s Monday and this is clearly an old recipe but since my caramels were an epic failure, this is all I got. I know…I know…what kind of blogger doesn’t have a plan b? Lame.

So…whoopie pies it is. I woke up at 6am yesterday morning to make all the cinnamon buttercream in time. But you know the real kicker? I didn’t even go to church yesterday to see how they turned out. No sir, I dropped them off at church and then headed to San Francisco with Adam to drop his sweet mother off at the airport and eat tacos all day after I got talked into buying ridiculously overpriced under-eye concealer at the Benefit counter after an impromptu makeover. I better not ever see another circle under my eye for as long as I live.

We did go see The David Crowder Band last night though and they were absolutely amazing.

I also ate this and it was so much better than any homemade caramel could ever be.


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  • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine
    October 10, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Sounds like a fun weekend. 🙂 I have always been way too intimidated to make caramels and I think that will continue to be the case if you can’t do it, haha!

  • Urban Wife
    October 10, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Good for you on trying to make caramels – at least you tried! 🙂 p.s. I am really hoping we’re able to see Crowder next month, especially since it’s the last tour and we’re huge fans.

  • Blog is the New Black
    October 10, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Ummmm delicious!

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist
    October 10, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I tried to make caramel sauce and I failed too 🙁 it’s so hard not to burn it!!

  • Traci B
    October 10, 2011 at 8:59 am

    That piece of cake you ate looks an awful lot like the “Celebration cake” we had at Flemings last week. If it was half as good I’m jealous!!!

  • Kim
    October 10, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I see David Crowder Band next month. I’m so excited. What’s your favorite DCB song?

    • jenna
      October 10, 2011 at 9:45 am

      You’ll LOVE it. Those guys put on an amazing show. I love all his stuff but I think my favorite song right now is “Shadows”.

  • Caroline @ The G-Spot
    October 10, 2011 at 9:03 am

    YUM. I absolutely adore pumpkin — especially around this time of year. I make a gluten-free version of these and they’re gone before I know it! 🙂

  • Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray
    October 10, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I’ve been wanting to try homemade caramels…hmm, maybe I’ll think twice? 😉
    Looks like a great weekend regardless of the caramel fail!

  • Jacqueline
    October 10, 2011 at 9:03 am

    ahhh you should have just got a mac paint pot..much better than benefit!

  • jane
    October 10, 2011 at 9:09 am

    do you think i could make the pies ahead of time and freeze them?

    • jenna
      October 10, 2011 at 9:44 am

      No, unfortunately these guys really need to be made the day of or they get sticky.

    • Krystina (Organically Me)
      October 10, 2011 at 11:28 am

      Jenna’s right – they should be eaten pretty much the day you make them, too. Every time I’ve made whoopie pies they get sticky and the texture is really off after just one day.

      • jane
        October 11, 2011 at 9:26 am

        glad i asked! thanks 🙂

  • diana
    October 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

    i use this recipe for caramels and havent had any problems. i’m a candy making novice (this is the only candy i’ve ever made) and they’re delish.

  • Khushboo
    October 10, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I bet you were/are a hit at Church- those pies look amaz!

  • jillian
    October 10, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I got sucked into buying products from the benefit counter this weekend too! But I must admit, $90 later, my brows look amazing… 🙂

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition
    October 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

    It sounds like you had a good weekend. I have never had a whoopie pie. I should get on that and make some…

  • Ashlee
    October 10, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has failed many times at caramels! I would stop trying if they weren’t so darn good!

  • Kim {Recipes To Run On}
    October 10, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Pumpkin Whoopie Pies & David Crowder? Sounds like the PERFECT weekend. except the not~getting~to~eat any part. 🙂

  • Moni'sMeals
    October 10, 2011 at 9:35 am

    my kinda of weekend! I remember your Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from last year… (they were your guys fav treat ever that you had made… at that time anyways!)

    Have a great day.

  • Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter)
    October 10, 2011 at 9:38 am

    First of all, your hair looks great!! Makes your eyes pop! And secondly, eating tacos, baking, and a concert all in one wkend sounds like perfection to me!

  • Lauren @ Running Examiner
    October 10, 2011 at 9:39 am

    haha, I also got sucked into buying Benefit cosmetics not too long ago after an impromptu makeover at their counter. Did you purchase the Erase Paste concealer, by any chance? I have to say, I’ve come to swear by it. It’s amazing!

    • jenna
      October 10, 2011 at 9:43 am

      I did! I felt a little sick right after knowing I spent almost thirty dollars on concealer but I’m very glad to hear you have come to like it so much!

  • jenna
    October 10, 2011 at 9:39 am

    making whoopie pies has been on my to-do list for way too long. these look amazing! what a fun weekend.

  • Raya
    October 10, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Haha!! The “makeover” thing happened to me in San Francisco as well!! I walked out with the most expensive mascara I’ve ever purchased in my life. But, I will say I love it and a year later I’m still using it (I’m sure there’s some kind of shelf-life to it, but I will use it until the tube is dry!)….Side note: Did you go to Tacolicious? I LOVE their tacos and their guac!! So yummy.

  • Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy
    October 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Yum, pumpkin whoopie pies!

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb
    October 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

    sounds like a perfect weekend to me 🙂 totally toying with the idea of bangs… such a scary leap to make, though!!

  • Amy
    October 10, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Those whoopie pies look amazing! I loved the first ones I made (just regular, with marshmallow frosting/filling)! Where did you see David Crowder? That’s awesome! We do a lot of their songs at church.

  • Kim @ Eat, Live, and Blog
    October 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

    YUM! The whoopie pies looks great! 🙂

  • Heather
    October 10, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has failed at making caramel syrup. Try, try, try again….and in the meantime bake what ya know! Apple picking and wine tasting this upcoming week for me. Maybe I’ll try and make a caramel drizzle for on top….maybe not though haha.

  • katie @KatieDid
    October 10, 2011 at 10:18 am

    What a full weekend, it sounds like a ton of fun- especially the tacos part. Favorite meal to order out, ever. But I hear no where has tacos like Cali (well besides where they originated I suppose).

  • Karen
    October 10, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Hey Jenna – Off topic, but just wanted to let you know that I made your curried butternut squash soup recipe this weekend (just amped up the spices with a little cinnamon and corriander) and was blown away! This is definitely my favorite squash soup to date, and I’ve made many! This was so thick, creamy and rich largely due to those lentils, and simple too!

    Sorry about your carmel disaster…can’t help you there as baking is not my thing! I’m thinking of getting bangs myself…naming them makes the whole idea sound especially fun!

  • Lindsay @ biking before bed
    October 10, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Your dessert looks way better than the caramel. Pumpkin whoopie pies have been on my to make list for awhile. I want to try chocolate ones with pumpkin filling.

  • Marie@feedingfive
    October 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

    You should definitely try the caramels again. It is tricky but they are my favorite. I think because my mom made them every year at Christmas, it’s just not the holidays without them. What I love to do best with caramel though is use it for baked crunchy caramel corn.

  • Kay, The Church Cook
    October 10, 2011 at 10:27 am

    What a FUN weekend, Jenna!! And look at those whoopie pies! Beautiful!

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution.
    October 10, 2011 at 10:29 am

    So jealous you were able to see Crowder! They’re coming to my city soon, but I have a work function that night and can’t go!

  • Nicole @ Giraffelegs
    October 10, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Ohhh those impromptu makeovers always kill me…I feel guilty and end up buying a $35 lipstick in a shade I will rarely wear. fail.

  • Dee
    October 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Looks and sounds like a great weekend!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    October 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I have been searching for a way to make caramels without corn syrup – no avail!

    I love David Crowder Band. I’ve heard they’re great in concert.

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness
    October 10, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend! Your hair looks beautiful in that photo of you – its all multi-tonal, and you are positively glowing from happiness, I love it! So happy for you 🙂 Despite the caramel failure, lol! 😛 xyx

  • Kristin Calise
    October 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I don’t know what sounds better – Pumpkin Whoopie Pies or a David Crowder concert? They are both wonderful! I am planning on making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies this weekend but making a Maple Cream filling to go with them. Hey, I think I’ll listen to David Crowder while making them!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Kristin C.

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    October 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Sounds like fun!! 🙂

  • Emmy (Wine and Butter)
    October 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Oh my goodness the exact same thing has happened to me at Benefit! Only I got roped into buying the lip thickener thing (the ONE piece of makeup I might not actually even need) and this blue looking, but translucent lip gloss! I had to return them both, but I do LOVE most benefit products, including the concealer! xoxo

  • Kelly
    October 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I have to admit, as much as I adore the regular style of your blog, I do miss these lifestyle updates that used to come! You are the best!

  • Tami
    October 10, 2011 at 11:19 am

    My pumpkin whoopee pies got me a blue ribbon at my local country fair this weekend!!!

    • jenna
      October 10, 2011 at 11:26 am

      that’s so awesome!!!

  • Leslie Means @ Her View From Home
    October 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Now those look good! I might have to use your recipe for my countdown to Halloween next week! Do you have a good pumpkin bread recipe? I’m off to search your site for one! Hope I find something.

  • Krystina (Organically Me)
    October 10, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Truthfully? I’d prefer pumpkin whoopie pies over caramels any day. 😛 That being said, a big bowl of vanilla bean ice cream dripping with warm caramel sauce is heaven on Earth.

  • Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen
    October 10, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Well those things look delicious!! I should name my bangs something, too. I wonder what I’d call ’em….

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    October 10, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Sounds like a great weekend! Even if the caramels didn’t go quite as planned. I have made caramel sauce recently but boiling sugar is SUCH a tricky process and 9 times out of 10, I have caramel sauce fails. It can go from a nice boil to a rock hard ball in about 6 seconds and that’s what I hate about it. And candy thermometers are one of those things if I see them on a recipe, I dismiss it.

    Your whoopie pies look fabulous.

    As do Becca’s bangs and your brunette locks 🙂

  • Caitlyn
    October 10, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I have also been talked into buying the ridiculously over-priced concealer at the Benefit counter. Whats it called…oh I can’t remember. But it DOES work miracles. And the pies look delish!

  • Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef
    October 10, 2011 at 11:51 am

    i LOVE david crowder. i’m so sad they’re breaking up. 🙁

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    October 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I’ve seen David Crowder in concert, too – they are awesome!

    For my mom’s birthday last year I made her a homemade angel food cake – her favorite. Only, the first one flopped – literally, it fell out of the pan when I turned it to cool. Oops. I was relieved the second try came out perfectly because I was both out of eggs and patience at that point. I think the rule for working with egg whites is probably the same as with boiling sugar – no 3rd times a charm!

  • Stefanie
    October 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

    My parents were there!! They said it was amazing, as always. I wish I could have been there, too…but I live in the midwest, so no go 🙁

  • Louise
    October 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Ahhhhh can you PLEASE send me some of your whoopie pies to New Zealand?!!! Sounds like you had a fun Sunday, what concealer did you buy? (total make up junkie here).

  • Carolyn
    October 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Curse you! Now not only do I want to go home and make whoopie pies instead of going to my personal trainer, I want to have tacos for supper!!

    I wonder if I can do all three….? 😉

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    October 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Becca was my BFFs roommate at one time… I introduced Becca to ELR – small world.

  • Kim
    October 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Hey Jenna! The am dying to make these whoopie pies! In the recipe, you make a butter cream frosting, but for church you made a cinnamon butter cream. Can you tell me what you did different? I want to make the cinnamon butter cream. 🙂


    • jenna
      October 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      I just added a tsp of cinnamon to the regular buttercream recipe !:)

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    October 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Ha! Caramel fails…I’ve had that happen. I have a pretty standard recipe I use every time that works well but for some reason I’ve also had some fails in my past. It gets frustrating after the 2nd time, I’ve also run out of pots by then. lol. At least you were able to redeem yourself!

  • Tessa @ Amazing Asset
    October 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I made your pumpkin whoopie pies a few weeks ago for my mom and her friends… and wow were they a hit! Everyone was asking for the recipe 🙂

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf
    October 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Gah, I have a love/hate relationship with makeup counters! I’m a total browser, and I’m fascinated by what’s available, but I don’t like being coerced into buying things I had no intention of buying in the first place. I’m one of those people who finds it annoying when sales associates come up to me in the store to ask me if I have any questions. 😛

  • Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart
    October 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I love David Crowder Band! You are so lucky!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    October 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I love the sneak peeks into your life!

  • Brittany
    October 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    LOL I almost laughed at the naming bangs blake comment because that totally reminds me of my two girlfriends and I. We named ourselves “tripod” because there are three of us and sometimes it doesnt seem right when one of us is missing. A tripod doesnt stand right if one leg is missing 🙂 So cool that your friend was a blog reader 🙂

    Yeah, right now is the time when cake, caramels, and anything related to sweets is sounding pretty good *sighs* It’s tough being a woman.

    Have a great day/week! 😀

  • Jacqueline
    October 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I heard the trick to caramels is not to let it boil…But I am no chef!

  • Sara
    October 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Love the pics of hands raised in worship! And your friends new bangs!

  • Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso
    October 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    After making your pumpkin muffins and pumpkin roll, the whoopie pies are next on my Mom and I’s list! I’ve been wanting to make these since last year!

    • jenna
      October 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      …..just wait until tomorrow…. 😉

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel
    October 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    That looks like one fun–and delicious–weekend! I’d be tempted to throw some pumpkin pie spices in the frosting mix for those whoopies, buttttttttt then again I might just be a tad obsessed with pumpkin-flavored everything. 🙂

  • Cyndi
    October 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Your hair suit you – brunette it is!

  • katie
    October 10, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS I saw David Crowder Band in concert too and I just about died of joy inside! It was the best night of praise of my life 🙂

  • Ida
    October 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Christina Hendrinks loves Benefit under-eye concealer! Or so i once read in a magazine. It is good stuff, and lasts forever.

  • Mama Pea
    October 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Love DCB! Especially “How He Loves Us.” 🙂

  • Lu
    October 11, 2011 at 9:27 am

    The Benefit counter can be brutal for any budget! I think I ended up with that very same concealer. I’ll be making these whoopie pies as soon as I’m not on crutches anymore. Who knows? Whoopie pies might actually be just what I need to heal.

  • Stephanee
    October 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    My husband and I just spend the whole month of May making caramels for our adoption fundraiser. The key to making them is cooking them on LOW the ENTIRE time! It does help to have a good recipe with the right ingredients. But LOW is the key!! We make somewhere around 30 batches of caramels!

  • pam
    October 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    David Crowder. Is he not a genius?

  • Heather @ Bake, Run, Live
    October 11, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I have a caramel recipe on my blog that I love. It’s easy (a little time-consuming), and can be used for so many things…I made homemade snickers from it over the weekend.
    Best of luck getting your recipe where you like it. I know you are not going to give up on it 🙂

  • Mary
    October 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I believe in you…you can SOOOO make caramels!!! Also, the 7 Tour was amazing! DC*Band was epic and Gungor blew me away! When the cello player started beat boxing…well, there was no turning back for me! 😀