It’s that time of the month again! For those of you who aren’t familiar, Daring Bakers is a group of bloggers and non-bloggers who are assigned a “secret” challenge at the beginning of each month. The 27th of each month is the “reveal” date, in which those who blog can write about their experiences and recipes for the challenge.
The December Daring Bakers’ Challenge had us all cheering – the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavors we chose… What else is there to say but “Whoopie!”
I was so excited for this month’s challenge! I don’t know why, but lately I had been in a baking rut. When the challenge was posted in the Daring Bakers Forum on the 1st of the month, I made the whoopie pies the very next day! While I hadn’t seem them very much while I lived in California, I do seem them around quite a bit here in the Midwest. I decided to make a Chocolate Whoopie Pie, with a recipe provided by our hostess (which is a King Arthur favorite), and instead of the traditional Marshmallow filling, I opted for a light buttercream. The recipe for the buttercream filling is courtesy of Annie’s Eats, and it truly makes a wonderful contrast against the deeply chocolate cookies sandwiching it.
My son, husband, and I absolutely loved these! This month’s challenge was definitely a home run, and I can’t wait to try other flavor combinations in the near future (banana whoopie pie with a cream cheese or caramel filling is going to grace our home soon)!
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
With Buttercream Filling
Yield: 1½ to 2 Dozen Pies
For Whoopie Pies:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- ½ cup cocoa, sifted
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
For Buttercream Filling:
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Make Whoopie Pies:
Preheat oven to 350˚F and set aside two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, espresso powder (if using), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Add egg and beat until smooth. Add cocoa and stir to combine. Add all-purpose flour and milk alternately, and stir until thoroughly combined.
Transfer batter to a piping bag and pipe 1-tablespoon sized mounds onto the baking sheets, being sure to keep at least 2 inches of space between each mound. With a damp finger, lightly pat the tops of the cakes to flatten and even them out. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cakes are set and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
In a large bowl, whip butter over medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and salt and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla and heavy cream on low speed until just incorporated, then increase speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes, making sure to stop a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Transfer filling to a piping bag.
To assemble the cookies, match them up in pairs by size. Pipe filling onto the flat side of one cookie, and then place the second cookie on top to create a sandwich.
Leftovers may be refrigerated.