Friday, May 7, 2010

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies



I'm always up for making something new so when we recently had a few students over for dinner I asked for desserts ideas. Red Velvet cake was the first request and while I could have made a cake or cupcakes, I couldn't resist trying something a little different. I first made Whoopie pies back in March and while I must admit the chocolate and peanut butter combination is still my favorite, the red velvet was pretty good too. The pies have everything you know and love about red velvet, nestled between a cream cheese filling, it’s too tempting to resist!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

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For the pies:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp

1 oz red food coloring

For the Frosting:

8 oz cream cheese

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make pies:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of  a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a regular hand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, beat in about a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, beating each addition just until incorporated. Repeat so that all the buttermilk has been added and then mix in the final third of dry ingredients. Do not overbeat. Blend in the food coloring.

Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until the tops are set, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets at least 10 minutes, until they can be easily transferred to a cooling rack. Repeat with any remaining batter. Allow cookies to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the Filling:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Transfer the frosting to a clean pastry bag fitted with a plain, round tip.

To assemble Whoopie Pies:

Pair the cookies up by shape and size. Flip one cookie of each pair over so that the flat side is facing up. Pipe frosting onto the flat sided cookie of each pair, leaving the edges clear. Sandwich the cookies together so the flat sides are facing each other and press gently to help the filling reach the edges. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container.

Source: Annie’s Eats, cookies originally from Better Homes and Gardens, December 2008; frosting originally adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

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