Monday, December 30, 2013
Daring Bakers: Peppermint Whoopie Pies!
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 can honestly say that I have never had a true whoopie pie - the kind you would get in the New England area with a vanilla marshmallow filling. However, I have made them before for the clever girl's Halloween party at school. That version was a pumpkin whoopie pie. This time I thought I'd holiday-it-up a bit and do a peppermint/candy cane version. Because chocolate and peppermint are meant to go together. It is a match made in heaven!
Peppermint Whoopie Pies
adapted from Joy of Baking
makes about 24 small cookies
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup lukewarm strong coffee or water
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (or to taste)
1 7oz. jar of marshmallow creme
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
6-8 drops red liquid food coloring
1/3 cup crushed candy canes, plus more for decorating
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Beat in vanilla extract. In a small measuring cup, mix the coffee (or water) and buttermilk together. Mix the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl alternately with the coffee/buttermilk mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Drop by heaping 1/2 tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Smooth the tops of the cookies with a moistened finger or the back of a spoon. Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and well blended. Mix in the extracts and marshmallow cream. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the food coloring, to your taste. Turn the mixer onto high speed and beat for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the filling is too thick, add a bit of cream or milk. If too thin, add more powdered sugar. Stir in the crushed candy canes.
Try to match the cookie circles by size. Spread a mound of filling on the bottom (flat) side of one cookie and place the flat side of another cookie on top. Roll the sides of the whoopie pie in additional crushed candy canes.
The assembled cookies will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Bring to room temperature before eating.
I have to say that I had my doubts about using marshmallow creme in the filling; I am just not a marshmallow girl. I contemplated using a buttercream frosting instead but decided to stay true to the whoopie pie and see how it turned out. Well, there is no marshmallow taste at all and the filling was super light and fluffy! Sure, buttercream frosting would have worked, but this worked great! Yahoo!