When I say that I'm making Whoopie Pies, I get one of two reactions. Either A)What're those? or B) Oh, I love Whoopie Pies! Well, to know them is to love them...and for those of you who don't know, these are Whoopie Pies:
Red Velvet with Marshmallow Fluff Filling
Chocolate with Peanut Butter Filling
Neither of these varieties is the traditional whoopie pie, which consists of two chocolate cake-like cookies with a sweet, fluffy filling sandwiched in between. According to all of the sources I checked, whoopie pies originated with the Amish. The story goes that these were packed into lunch boxes by Amish women and when the farmers or children opened their lunches and discovered these treats they would exclaim, "Whoopie!"
I've eaten these my whole life, and I never gave much thought to the name. When we were growing up, my mom would double or triple this recipe at the start of the summer. Then my sisters and I would set up a Whoopie Pie assembly line. One of us would take the little cakes off of the sheet and cool them, one would spread on the filling, and one would wrap the finished product. We wrapped them individually and then put them into gallon-sized freezer bags. When each pie was wrapped and stashed in a bag, we sealed them up and carried them to our garage freezer. All summer long we bopped into the garage for this handy snack when we took breaks from playing in the yard, working in the garden, or working on our 4-H projects in the barn. In the summer heat, these thaw very quickly...not that we waited for them to thaw before we took a bite.
When I found the recipe for Red Velvet Whoopie Pies in an old issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, I suddenly remembered how much I missed this treat and I was excited to try a spin on the Whoopie Pie that I've always eaten. I posted on Facebook that I was going to make Whoopie Pies and my friend, Erin wrote back that she likes the kind with peanut butter filling. What?! Peanut butter filling? Why hadn't I thought of that? I decided that I better make some with the peanut butter filling too.
Red Velvet first:
First you combine all of the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter.
Add in brown sugar and beat until fluffy.
Add in the egg and vanilla and beat some more.
Add the dry ingredients alternately with...
Once the ingredients are "just combined", stir in red food coloring. This recipe calls for a 1 oz. bottle of food coloring. I halved the recipe due to a butter shortage in my home, so I only used 1/2 oz. I know, this is one UGLY picture.
Depending on how big you want your whoopie pies you can drop the batter by teaspoonfuls or tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. I used a tablespoon this time.
Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from baking sheets to cool.
Now for the filling. In medium mixing bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter and half an 8-ounce package softened cream cheese until smooth. Since my recipe was cut in half, I only made half the amount of filling too. Next time, I might make a whole recipe of filling. I really like this filling!
Fold in one 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme. I've never had whoopie pies with marshmallow creme in the filling. Lots of people make them this way, but my mom's recipe didn't call for this magic ingredient. I think that the next time I make her recipe, I'll use this filling. Yum!
Put a dollop of the filling on half of the cakes.
Smooth it out a bit.
Then top with another cake. These were really pretty. They'd be awesome for Christmas or Valentine's Day treats too!
Now on to Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter filling.
When you say "whoopie pie" it's probably assumed that they are chocolate. Although, pumpkin spice whoopie pies are growing in popularity. Mmmm. I got this recipe from the Martha Stewart website. It uses a traditional Whoopie Pie batter, but the twist is in the rich and creamy peanut butter filling.
My only complaint about this recipe is that the cakes stuck to the baking sheet. I know that I was supposed to use parchment paper, but I didn't have any. I figured that since the Red Velvet variety came off the sheet fine, these would too. Wrong! Luckily, no one sees this side of the whoopie pies.
Ahh, there's the rest of the cakes...still stuck to the pan.
The filling recipe calls for butter and peanut butter. I decided to substitute cream cheese for some of the butter. I really like peanut butter with cream cheese. Beat these ingredients together.
Then mix in some powdered sugar.
Just like before, spread the filling evenly among half of the cakes. The filling sank nicely into all of those divots left from our little "stuck to the baking sheet" problem. More room for filling...fine with me!
Just imagine these with a glass of ice cold milk. Seriously good. My toddler could barely keep her hands off of these. If you look close, you can actually see her little hands in the background. She was hovering while I took pictures, yelling her two newest words, "Whoopie" and "pie".
Here are the recipes:
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from Better Homes and Gardens
Prep: 45 minutes
Bake: 8 minutes per batch
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1-oz. bottle red food coloring (2 Tbsp.)
1 recipe Whoopie Pie Filling, recipe below
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment; set aside. In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in food coloring.
3. Spoon batter in 1- or 2-inch diameter rounds, about 1/2-inch high on prepared baking sheets, allowing 1 inch between each round.
4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes for 1-inch cookies or 9 to 11 minutes for 2-inch cookies, or until tops are set. Cool completely on baking sheets on rack. Remove cooled cookies from baking sheets.
5. To fill, dollop Whoopie Pie Filling on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down. Makes 60 one-inch or 42 two-inch cookies.
6. Whoopie Pie Filling: In medium mixing bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter and half an 8-ounce package softened cream cheese until smooth. Fold in one 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme.
7. To store: Refrigerate in airtight container up to 4 days. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.
Calories 70, Total Fat (g) 3, Saturated Fat (g) 2, Monounsaturated Fat (g) 1, Cholesterol (mg) 12, Sodium (mg) 49, Carbohydrate (g) 10, Total Sugar (g) 5, Protein (g) 1, Calcium (DV%) 1, Iron (DV%) 2, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
*Did I mention that these are low in calories?
Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies from Martha Stewart
For the Cookies:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch-process
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Coarse salt, optional
1.Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; set aside.
2.Put butter, shortening, and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla. Mix in remaining flour mixture.
3.Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies spring back when lightly touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks using a spatula; let cool completely.
4.Make filling: Put peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add confectioners' sugar; mix until combined. Raise speed to high, and mix until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, if desired.
5.Assemble cookies: Spread 1 scant tablespoon filling on the bottom of 1 cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Note: These freeze really well. Just wrap individually first so that they don't stick together.