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Alumni Profile

A delicious career path

whoopie pie 

Sarah Copeland's Whoopee Pies

I adore elegant French pastries but I'm an American girl at heart, so I love reinventing timeless tailgate-friendly recipes like whoopee pies.  To give this American classic a Black-and-Gold spin, replace the marshmallows with marshmallow creme lightly beaten together with dark yellow food coloring. Tiger fans won't be able to keep their paws off of them! —Sarah Copeland

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey's or Scharffen Berger
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons fine salt
18 large marshmallows (not minis)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.

Put the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl; heat at 75 percent power until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir, and continue to microwave until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching the water, and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.)

Whisk the sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until smooth.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt into another bowl. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until moistened. Switch to a rubber spatula and finish folding the batter together; take care not to over mix.

Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the prepared pan. Repeat to make 36 cookies, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake until the cookies spring back when touched lightly, about 6 minutes.

Cool the cookies slightly. Transfer half of the cookies to a rack. Turn the remaining cookies on the pan over, so they lay flat side up. Place a marshmallow on top of each flipped cookie and return pan to the oven. Cook just until the marshmallow begins to soften and puff, about 3 minutes. Cool marshmallow topped cookies slightly, about 2 minutes. Top with the remaining cookies, pressing lightly to make sandwiches. Cool whoopee pies completely on wire racks. Serve at room temperature.

Store in tightly sealed container for up to 1 week.

Yield: 18 whoopee pies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: easy

Recipe from Food Network Kitchen

Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

In a magazine-writing class, Sarah Copeland got a tasty assignment: Profile a professor moonlighting as a pastry chef at Cherry Street Wine Cellar.

A few years later, Copeland, BJ ’99, found herself juggling paperwork as a photo editor in New York when she remembered that pastry chef. “I was missing the creativity that I had in school,” she says. “I found it in the kitchen.”

Soon after, Copeland moved to France for additional culinary training, which helped her find work as the private chef for a St. Tropez villa. As a sort of culinary audition, she prepared a seven-course tasting menu or “fantasy meal” for the villa’s owners.

The day of the audition saw a massive snowstorm that shut down the East Coast. Copeland trudged 30 minutes home from the grocery store with $700 worth of gourmet food in her backpack. Her sheer persistence — plus the remarkable meal — landed her the job.

After two seasons at the villa, Copeland moved back to New York for another plum position, working as a recipe developer and chef for the Food Network. This earned her an appearance on the Fine Living Network program I Want Your Job. The show chronicles “typical” work days of Porsche test drivers, wine reviewers and ski instructors.

The Sept. 2, 2007, episode tailed Copeland through a day of testing recipes, styling food and working behind the scenes on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. Copeland shared the episode’s spotlight with a hydroplane racer. — Lisa Groshong

sarah copeland

For recipe developer Sarah Copeland, the walk to her job at the Food Network often includes a stop at this New York City farmers market. Photo by Andras Gipp.