17. USA – Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Happy Independence Day!! To celebrate the Fourth of July in little old New Zealand, I made some whoopie pies. I’ve been wanting to make whoopie pies for ages, and went out on the weekend and splurged on a whoopie pie tin. You don’t necessarily need a tin to make them though, and Betty Crocker even has a mix if you want to take the easy route.

So what’s a whoopie pie? It’s kind of a cross between a cupcake, macaron, melting moment-type- thing – two small cakes sandwiched together with a filling. They originated in the Amish community in Pensylvania USA, where they were originally called hucklebucks. When the farmers opened their lunchboxes and found the good Amish woman had put one of these treats in the lunchbox, they’d let fly with a ‘whoopie!’ to express their delight!

Whoopie pies are the treat of the moment and there’s all kinds of delicious combos you can make – coconut and lime, jaffa, spiced golden syrup, pumpkin with maple cream cheese, chocolate and salted caramel, raspberry and cream. Oh yes, I will certainly be trying some of these in the near future.

Today I made red velvet whoopie pies with a cream cheese filling, and sourced the recipe from the Baking Makes Things Better blog.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Makes 6 large whoopie pies

2 cups flour
2 Tbsp baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup tightly baked brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp red food colouring

Cream cheese filling
190gms cream cheese, softened
40gms butter
65g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius. Grease whoopie pan tin, or line a baking tray with baking paper. In a medium bowl, beat together flour, baking cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, add the butter and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract.

3. Next beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating between the two. When well mixed, stir in the red food colouring.

4. Spoon the mixture into the whoopie pie tin or drop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the baking tray, 1 inch apart.

5. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the tops are set. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin/baking sheet.

To make the cream cheese filling
Combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat until combined. Transfer mixture to a piping bag, and pipe onto the back of 1/2 the cookies. Sandwich the remaining cookies together.

Note
-My whoopie pies turned out massive! I think next time I won’t fill the tins quite as full as I did, as they are quite large tins.

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