Making Whoopie…Pies

My kids love to puruse lovely food photos in cookbooks and tell me which things they’d like to make.  While my husband and son were making plans to watch the superbowl, my daughter was checking out a baking activity for us ladies.  In the Whoopie Pie cookbook by Love Food (UK) she spied after dinner mint whoopee pies, and that was it. She even checked the cupboard and saw we had the ingredients.  Except one which she couldn’t reach.  So while we were baking the cookies and getting ready to make the frosting I realized we were out of mint extract.  Oops!  Hmmmm.  Here’s where it’s good to have a stocked pantry and the ability to make substitutions and create your own flavors.  Although my daughter was hoping for lemon extract.  I’m not a fan of lemon and chocolate.  Orange, yes.  Lemon, no.  Next she suggested coffee.  I was surprised by her choice, but chocolate and coffee is a perfect flavor pairing.

 

So we made After Game Mocha Whoopie Pies.  My kids not having too many whoopee pies in their lifetime were surprised by how soft the “cookies” were.  I had to explain this is more like cake and the cookies aren’t hard like an ice cream sandwich.  They understood better after seeing them assembled.  And yes, they scored a touchdown with the whole family.  These would be great for Valentine’s Day.  You could even shape the cakes into hearts.

Mocha Whoopie Pies

(this makes about 30 pies)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

scant 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

large pinch of salt

6 tablespoons butter, softened

generous 1/3 cup vegetable shortening

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg, beaten

2/3 cup milk

 

Coffee Filling

1 1/4 cup cream cheese

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 teaspoon coffee extract

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugarm sifted plus extra for dusting

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, cocoa and salt.

Place butter, shortening and sugar in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until fluffy.  Beat in egg followed by half the flour mixture and the milk.  Stir in the rest of the flour mixture until incorporated.

Pipe or spoon small mounds of batter on the cookie sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.  Beake, one sheet at a time for 8 – 10 minutes until risen and just firm to the touch.  Cool for 5 minutes on pan, then carefully transfer with palate knife or spatula to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the filling, place the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat together until well blended.  Beat in coffee extract and confectioner’s star until smooth.  Chill filling in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To assemble carefully spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a star nozzle or simply spread carefully on flat side of half the cakes.  Top the filling with a second cake and dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.

Share

Green Market Baking Cookbook Review with Honey Sweetened Whipped Cream

I received a lovely cookbook entitled Green Market Baking Book: 100 Delicious Recipes for Natural Sweet and Savory Treats and can’t stop looking at the illustrations.  While some may miss real photos or mouth watering desserts I like that this is different with beautiful illustrations of fruits, vegetables and herbs that are part of the recipes.  This book by Laura C. Martin highlights local, seasonal and healthful ingredients as an alternative to refined sugars and artificial sweeteners that are in most baking cookbooks.

I would buy this book for one single stand-out recipe – Honey Strawberry Shortcakes with Honey Sweetened Whipped Cream (photo below).  Actually just the whipped cream would suffice.  Yes, it is so simple, but is so fresh and can dress up anything from a shortcake or anglefood cake to a simple bowl of fresh berries.

Review

Pros: lovely illustrations, good introduction chapter about substitutions, ingredients and stocking a baking pantry. Variety of both sweet and savory recipes.

Cons: pictures of actual creations (didn’t bother me, but might others), organization by season (not my favorite new trend, and not really for a baking book).

Honey Sweetened Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup mild flavored honey, such as orange blossom or wildflower

Make sure bowl and attachments of mixer are very cold. Pour the cream into the bowl and whip until soft peaks form.

Turn off the mixer and remove bowl.  Carefully pour honey into cream and hand whisk into the cream.  Return the bowl to the mixer and finish whipping the cream to desired consistency.

Note: If you pour honey into the mixing bowl while mixer is running the whisk blade will fling strings of honey around the bowl without getting it into the cream.

 

Share