Holiday Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies

It's the holidays....and it is time to BAKE people! This makes me incredible happy and excited to get in the kitchen....until I get in there and find only 2 tablespoons of butter left in the fridge.....not cool.
{Holiday Happily Edible baking tip}: make sure you have all the basics in your cupboard before you begin your baking adventures! ☺
So, I made whoopie pies this weekend. They are like a big, soft cookie sandwich with a creamy filling. My husband, Jay, calls them "cakies". It works.

Not familiar with Whoopie Pies? I wasn't either. But, I ran across the cutest little Whoopie Pies cookbook some months ago and bought it on a whim.
Whoopie Pies Book
I made several recipes from it and they were GOOD. Who doesn't like portable treats and mix and match recipes?
I can't wait to try the Maple Bacon Buttercream filling in there too!

There is apparently quite a bit of debate around who invented the whoopie pie. According to most food historians, it was the Amish housewives in the Pennsylvania Dutch country who first created them....leftover cake batter. You can read more history here....Whoopie
Check out the "world's largest whoopie pie" photo. Crazy huge!

Whenever I see peppermint candy canes, I think about my love for 
White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Crisps. Have you had these before? OMG.
Ok, confession time...put me inside my car at rush hour in Atlanta traffic with a bag of those things...very dangerous. Gone before I get make it halfway home. Welcome to my new addiction.
Oops, got off course there.....back to Whoopies!

Here's the lovely recipe. You should definitely make these for someone special. These were for some special ladies in my life.
Remember...whoopie pies are best eaten the day they are made (shouldn't be a problem right?). 

Classic Chocolate Whoopie with Peppermint Butter Cream Filling
makes about 20 3-inch cakes

Adapted from Whoopie Pies

1 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
2⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup (packed) dark-brown sugar {I didn't have dark brown sugar, so I used half light brown sugar and for fun, half panela - unprocessed brown sugar}
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups milk

Mint Butter cream:
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon salt

Peppermint candy canes, mini-sized

To make pies: 
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt on a sheet of waxed paper. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, shortening, and brown sugar on low until just combined. Increase speed to medium; beat for 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat 2 more minutes.

Add half of flour mixture and half of milk to batter; beat briefly on low. Beat in remaining flour mixture and milk.
Using a spoon {I used a small ice cream scoop and made slightly larger ones}, drop 1 tablespoon of batter at a time onto one of the baking sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes, or until pies spring back when pressed gently. Remove from oven; let pies cool on sheet for 5 minutes; transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

To make butter cream filling:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the confectioners' sugar and butter, starting on low and increasing to medium speed, until the mixture is crumbly, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, mint extract, and salt and beat on high until smooth, about 3 minutes. {Go the full time here, so your butter cream gets as fluffy as possible.}
Spread a generous tablespoon of the butter cream filling on one cake, and top with another cake of roughly the same size.
{I used a pastry bag to pipe my filling in.... easier for me and less messy}.

Peppermint candy crush:

Place peppermint candy canes in a food processor with blade and process until crushed fairly small. Place crushed mixture in a pie pan or pile on top of a large piece of parchment or wax paper. Before you are ready to serve, take filled whoopies and roll in the crushed candy canes. Don't do this too early or the crushed canes will get moist and lose their pretty look and texture.


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