Already the stores are stocking Valentine theme items, and we’re just barely a few steps into the new year! I guess people just can’t wait to move on to the next thing.
Seeing hearts and flowers all over has made me start thinking about Valentine’s Day and planning some fun things to do the day of with the kids. Last year we made these red velvet whoopie pies. It wasn’t until my hubby and I went to Lancaster, PA that we realized just what a whoopie pie is (legend has it the Amish women would make them for their hubbies and put them in their lunches, and they would cry “Whoopie!” when they discovered them). Right along with macarons, whoopie pies seem to have become quite the craze. So I thought I’d share this great recipe for making Valentine theme whoopie pies!
Whoopie pies aren’t really pies, and they aren’t cake either. They’re two cookies with a cream cheese frosting sandwiched between. They’re really quite simple to make – we made ours heart shaped (at least, I tried! I didn’t follow my stencil very well and had to cut some of them) but you can also make them round.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
2 cups flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk at room temp
1 oz. food colouring
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 375 F.
On parchment paper on a cookie sheet, trace out some heart shapes for your guide. Place the parchment paper pencil side down on the sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar with the paddle on med-high for 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl, then add vanilla. On low speed, slowly add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk, and repeat. Make sure you do not over beat the batter! Scrape down the sides then blend in the food coloring.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip with the batter. Using the tracing as a guideline, pipe the batter onto the tray. Make sure to not completely fill the heart shape or the batter will puff out too big.
Bake 7-9 minutes or until the top is set. Cool the cookies on the sheet at least 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before proceeding.
In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until creamy (about 2-3 minutes). Mix in vanilla, then gradually add in icing sugar until completely incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat 2-3 minutes, or until smooth.
Pipe or spread the frosting onto half of the cooled cookies. When you’re finished, place the other cookie on top, and voila! Red Velvet Whoopie Pies!