Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mini Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Cake recipe adapted from Joy of Baking and filling recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

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1 3/4 c. All purpose flour
3/4 c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 c. Unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. White sugar
1 Egg, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 c. Buttermilk (or 1/4 c. Milk + 3/4 tsp Lemon juice)
1/2 c. Strong coffee, lukewarm (or 1/2 c. Water + 1 tsp Instant coffee)

1 pkg (8 oz.) Light cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c. Unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. Icing sugar
1.5 tsp Peppermint extract
10-15 Small candy canes, crushed

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Combine buttermilk and coffee. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour and alternating with the buttermilk mixture.

Dropped a heaping teaspoon of batter (as circular-shaped as you can) onto the prepared cookie sheet, approximately 2" apart. Bake for 6-7 min until the toothpick comes out clean.

Transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before assembling the whoopie pies.

Whip the softened cream cheese and butter together. Add the icing sugar and peppermint extract.

To assemble, try to match up all the cookie pairs base on their shape and size as best as you can. Add a generous helping of cream cheese filling on the bottom side of one cookie (I used a piping bag but you can also use a knife). Top the filling with a second cookie (of similar shape and size), bottom side down.

To decorate, place the crushed candy canes in a large bowl. Roll the side of the whoopie pie in the crushed candy canes.

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My comments:

I have a thing for whoopie pies - I absolutely LOVE them.  When I went to university, my best friend, KS, and I would go to The Goodie Shop by the campus and treat ourselves to their amazing whoopie pies, so decadent, so chocolatey, so sweet; it was exactly what we needed to get us through another study session.  Whoopie pies bring back a lot of great memories for us.

KS and I have successfully made whoopie pies before using a recipe she found in her mother's recipe box.  However, I have tried making it on my own a few times but the cake always turned out really dry.  It was likely due to me trying to make this treat "healthy"...or you can simply call it karma - I only make good whoopie pies when KS is around.  :)

I made these peppermint whoopie pies this weekend for our [hopefully annual] Christmas cookie exchange.  KS happened to be visiting me this weekend and I attributed the success of these babies entirely to her.  The whoopie pie cakes were chocolatey but moist and fluffy at the same time.  The cream cheese filling was creamy and smooth with a hint of peppermint.  Rolling the sides of the whoopie pies in crushed candycanes made the peppermint flavour stands out even more.

I originally made these into mini whoopie pies for convenience.  However, after tasting them, I think I really like this mini version!  The traditional whoopie pies are fairly large and pretty sweet.  I think these minis are the perfect size snack, big enough to leave you feeling satisfied but small enough that you won't feel guilty.

The only problem I encountered was that the crushed candycane looked beautiful when you first rolled them onto the whoopie pies but they melted into little tri-colour blobs overnight.  The tri-colour blogs were not attractive at all and I was a tad disappointed because I wanted my whoopie pies to look wonderful at the Christmas exchange.

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