Friday, November 11, 2011

38. Cookies & Cream Whoopie Pies

In celebration of our Veterans who have so graciously and selflessly served our Country, so that I can get a day off from work, I say “WHOOPIE.”  These pies are for you.

Whoopie pies have been on my to-bake list for a while, but I was not in any rush to make them.  In theory, I figured I would not even like whoopee pies.  I mean they are two soft cookie cakes that serve as a conduit for frosting.  Not my cup of tea.

I recently tasted my first whoopee pie, red velvet with cream cheese filling, and I was not impressed.  So, I went into this challenge with pretty low expectations.  I was just hoping the filling would set up enough that I could take them into work the next day.

While these pies far exceeded my low expectations, dare I even say it, they were tasty.  I am still not sure what the appropriate texture of a whoopie pie should be, but I found these delightful.  The cookie was cake-y and soft and had a nice cocoa flavor and the espresso powder really made the chocolate taste sing.

OMGoodness, the filling was the best!  I did not want to go traditional whoopie pie with a shortening based filling.  I decided to use my go-to Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe and added in Marshmallow Fluff and Oreo Cookie crumbs.  The combination of the cookie and filling still needs to be further refined.  The chocolate cookie slightly overwhelmed the more delicate filling.

I would suggest this recipe to first time whoopie pie makers and those who may not be a fan of traditional shortening frosting/filling.  I would also suggest doubling the filling batch, as I did not have enough to adequately fill all my pies.

Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (213g)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa (43g)
2 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (283g)
1 tsp espresso powder
1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking pans with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl with an electric beater, cream together the butter and sugar.

3. Next beat in vanilla and egg until completely combined.

4. Then beat in baking powder, baking soda, and salt, until smooth.

5. Stirring in cocoa powder to combine. (I do not advise using the electric beater unless you want to deal with a cocoa powder cloud.)

6. Add the flour to the batter alternating with the buttermilk, unlike the traditional method, start with buttermilk and end with flour, beating until smooth, scraping down the sides to fully combine.

7. Drop the dough by the 1/4-cupful (regular sized ice cream scoop) onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave a generous amount of space around each cookie. I dropped five cookies per sheet.

8. Bake the cakes for 15 to 16 minutes, until they are set and firm to the touch. (I only baked mine 12 minutes and they were perfect.)

9. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pans. While slightly warm but firm to the touch, gently lift cookie from parchment; then allow to cool completely.

10. Match up the cookie halves, then pipe or spoon filling onto one half. Cover piped cookie with its match and gently press down.

Swiss Buttercream Fluff Oreo Filling
Bake at Law

Swiss Meringue Butter Cream (I used 2oz egg whites, 4oz sugar, and 6oz butter)
1 1/2–2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
1 tsp vanilla
Oreo cookie crumbs (crumbled really fine), to taste

Prepare filling while the cookies are baking. Mix all ingredients together. If it too thick to pipe, add a little milk until you get it to the consistency you prefer.

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