Okay now who doesn’t love a good Whoopie Pie, huh? All cakey and delicious and soft and moist and filled with delicious cream and…
You there, with your hand up? Yeah you. Get out. Little Debbie loving SOB. No one cares about YOUR opinion!
Okay now where were we. Ah yes, Whoopie Pies. I mean half the fun is in the name, right? Whoopie. All good things are named Whoopie. Whoopie Goldberg, Whoopie Cushions, Whoopie Pies…
Now, for a budgeting mother of three, who am I kidding. They’re like a buck fifty each. I mean that’s almost five bucks a pop for my three kids to have this tasty treat. So I decided I’d have to give it a try. And trust me, a moist, delicious, cakey, cream-filled slice of heaven was intimidating.
But my new (and very first ever) Stand Mixer just arrived and I figured, what better way to break it in than attempting this tasty treat.
Even Princess Anna looks super stoked for this.
Well come to find out I’m freaking out of butter and my hubby is at work until four (WITH THE CAR) so instead I made Banana Bread with coconut oil. (spoiler alert, it was amazing and that’s going to be my next post).
Cue five minutes after discovering my butter crisis, a near-hysterical email to my hubby about my butter needs. (and add to that some baking soda, hamburger buns, cheese, peppers, and squirt. Haha squirt.)
Of course he gets home then dinner must ensue, (homemade ground turkey sloppy joe’s, don’t mind if we do) and by the time the kitchen’s cleaned, it’s time for the kids to get into bed, and I’m only half motivated to make these things. But I do because I’m the best mom ever and my kids are SO LUCKY TO HAVE ME. Seriously kids if you’re reading this– YOU’RE SO LUCKY.
Anyhow, so it’s time to begin, and it’s going to be with a modified cake recipe, since you want them to be a mixture of cookies and cakes. Now with cake, you usually want baking powder to get that nice, fluffy rise out of them. But with this, I want some rise, but not too much. So we have to nix that. But you want it dense so there’s going to be a lot of batter beating (heh beating), especially when you add the egg. Trust me, the extra time is worth it. So you’re going to start with the basic ingredients.
Recipe makes about 10 assembled whoopie pies.
1/2- cup butter (salted or unsalted but I recommend salted)
1- cup brown sugar (preferably dark but will work with light or dark.)
1- tsp vanilla extract
1- cup milk (can use any type of milk. Soy and almond are preferred as alternatives vs rice milk simply because they’re creamier. Since this is the first time I made this I went with whole cow’s milk but normally I bake with Almond)
1 2/3rds- cups all-purpose flour
2/3rds- cup dutch processed, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
(not pictured is butter. And you can substitute coconut oil though remember oils will make your cookies spread more. Coconut oil can be used in the batter as a solid but if you’re going to do that, refrigerate it first and try and keep your ingredients all cold, including your mixing bowl. They’ll still spread more but it helps.)
So here we have unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, cake-flour, brown sugar, egg, and milk. (and the sadly missing butter. I’m not good at the whole photographing stuff.)
Preheat oven to 375F
Now, the first thing you want to do is put your butter (room temp) into the mixer, add on either the paddle attachment or the egg beaters attachment (NOT the whisk) and cream it alone for about a minute. Once it’s fluffy, add in the brown sugar and let that whip up about two to three minutes, until combined. Remember to turn off your mixer and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Then add in egg and vanilla and beat for about two minutes. (see why having a stand mixer is so awesome. I swear my arms are already singing my praises). You want the batter to be fluffy and airy. Not meringue-level but you know, fluffy.
While that’s beating, in a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda together in a separate bowl. Stir with a whisk to make sure it’s all evenly combined.
Now this next step is super important.
Turn your mixer onto low, then add in half the milk. Let it stir for about thirty seconds, until just combined, then add in half the flour mixture and increase the speed to medium and beat until just combined. Repeat those steps with the remaining milk, then flour mixture. Once mixture is just mixed, lift up your paddle and/or egg beaters and finish with a good stir with your rubber spatula. scrape the bottoms and sides to make sure it’s all combined.
Once done, line a cookie sheet with your preferred lining (parchment paper, silicone baking mat, no-stick foil etc) and use a tablespoon to drop heaping rounds onto the sheet. For the larger cookies you’ll want to give about two to three inches of space, for smaller ones one to two. Make rows down the cookie sheet in pairs til you have a total of ten.
Pop in the oven and set the timer for ten minutes (for a properly pre-heated oven). Cookies are done when you can press down on the centers of them and they don’t stay depressed. (they’re happy cookies!)
Remove from baking sheet immediately and place onto a cooling rack.
Mmmm yep that IS my bread cutter. I don’t have a cooling rack yet. Judge away.
Now, while those are cooling (and ideally your second batch is baking) you can get started on the filling. To be honest, you can pretty much fill them with any frosting or filling recipe you want, but I went with a Marshmallow variant because I find it holds up better than most.
And while I could have gone extra fancy and created my own from-scratch marshmallow cream, I wasn’t feeling that ambitious. So I used Marshmallow fluff.
Here we have Peanut Butter, Marshmallow Fluff, and Vanilla
For the filling you need:
1 Jar Marshmallow fluff
3-4 tbsp Peanut Butter
1 tsp vanilla.
Now… here’s a quick note. I love love love (and I mean LOVE) homemade peanut butter. Like… it’s a whole thing with me, fresh nut butter. (heh nut butter) but it doesn’t work well in this recipe unless you can make it factory-processed levels of creamy. If you experiment and it works, please let me know what you did!
Back to the mix. In a bowl combine the PB and Vanilla and mix until the PB has a more doughy consistency. Add in the marshmallow and combine with a fork (not a whisk or spoon– trust me on this). The marshmallow will congeal for a second, but just keep at it and you’ll eventually have sticky-sweet, peanut buttery goodness in your bowl.
When the cookies have cooled sufficiently, (and I mean like almost cold-cool. In fact, throw them in the fridge for ten minutes if you can), begin filling.
You can use a spoon if you want, but I prefer a pastry bag. Or in my case (because I am under resourced here) a plastic baggie with the corner cut off.
It ain’t pretty, but it works.
Fill with the desired amount of filling until it looks all gooey and delicious like this…
EAT ALL THE FROSTING!
Then press the top down until it’s all sandwichy and wonderful. Then enjoy. Beware though, they’re rich. Like wow. Super rich. But good. But rich.
But also soooo pretty.
They don’t keep well for longer than a day or two, so you know, EAT ALL THE BAKED THINGS! Or like, take them or send them to work with your SO or friend or neighbor so you/they can get cussed out for temping everyone with sugary goodness. Or praised like the Baking God that you are.
Also just a few notes, remember to adjust the recipe accordingly to high altitudes (add 2 tbsp extra flour). Always remember to taste your dough. Always lick the bowl. Never lick the beaters while they’re on. And you can always adjust the PB content in the frosting to your liking.