Times Top 5: Whoopie Pies and a Blood Orange CakeFrom The New York Times Dining Section 03.18.09

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

There’s a lot of sweet in today’s Times roundup. First up are whoopie pies. We’ve written about them before and even wondered if they’d be the new cupcake. Well, they’re apparently sweeping the country. And Melissa Clark makes a cake that’s a jazzier version of one of our favorites…

1. Stressed out? Have a whoopie pie. Once a regional specialty in Maine and Pennsylvania, whoopie pies are showing up in bakeries in Manhattan; shop owners claim they’re comforting in troubled times.

2. A sophisticated cake with zero fuss. Melissa Clark loves cake stands, just like we do. She’s also in the habit of making easy cakes that call for melted butter or oil and don’t require a mixer. This one has olive oil and blood oranges, which sounds similar to this Lemon Olive Oil Cake that Faith made for her wedding.

3. Cauliflower with almonds, capers, and raisins. One chef wooed his future wife with this dish.

4. Fig-stuffed pork loin. Bittman shares a simple trick for making a pork roast more fabulous: stick a wooden spoon handle down the middle, then fill the cavity with figs. So easy and smart.

5. Ever eaten a mountain oyster? Hint: It’s not shellfish. These little morsels are actually lamb and calf testicles, and they’re the main event at the International Comstock Mountain Oyster Fry in Virginia City, Nevada.

Image: Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times