April 09, 2011

Making Whoopie

One of my latest sweeties from the kitchen is the fun, easy and every so tasty whoopie pie.  I just love the soft cookies with a creamy icing center.  As a child, I remember staring at the delicions display cases at Perimeter Mall's American Cookie Company and salivating at the sugar overload called the "Double Doozie".  Somehow, Zsa Zsa was a master at talking me and LaLa out of the sugary delight and made us feel completely satisfied with a basic cookie instead.  As an adult now, I totally see the method to her madness and realize she selectively sold us on the basic cookie to keep us from bouncing off the walls! 

The Double Doozie may have been my first experience with the traditional whoopie pie but now I've developped an affinity for these little treats and love making them in more sophisticated flavors.  Whoopie Pies are PERFECT for any sort of a get together where you would consider taking a pie, cake or traditional cupcake.  The whoopie pie is an individual serving and makes it easy to serve a group. 

Today's charming is a gift of two delish recipes for your own whoopies.  The carrot cake whoopies are light and moist and the banana one's are a fruity, summery alternative that taste almost like mama's banana pudding!

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

1 (18-ounce) box carrot cake mix
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup raisins
1 pound cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2.  In a large bowl beat the carrot cake mix, butter, and eggs until incorporated. Stir in the grated carrot, and raisins. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Using a small ice-cream scoop drop the batter by 2 tablespoon mounds onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
3.  Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove and cool 5 minutes on the pan before moving to a wire rack and cooling completely.
4.  In a mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer until well combined and light and fluffy.
5.  To assemble the whoopie pies, put the filling into a resealable bag and snip the corner to make a 1/2-inch opening. Put the chopped walnuts into a shallow dish or pie plate. Flip over 1 carrot cake cookie and pipe a dollop of frosting into the center. Top with another cookie and press gently to spread the frosting to the edges. Roll the edges of the whoopie pie into the chopped walnuts and set aside. Repeat with the remaining cookies and frosting.

Banana Whoopie Pies (courtesy of Martha Stewart)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed banana (from 1 large ripe banana)
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Combine banana and sour cream in another bowl.

2.  Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed, until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beating until incorporated. Add banana mixture in 2 additions, alternating with flour mixture.
3.  Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe batter into 1 1/4-inch rounds on baking sheets, spacing rounds 1 1/2 inches apart.
4.  Bake until edges are golden, about 12 minutes. Slide parchment, with cookies, onto wire racks. Let cool. (Unfilled cookies can be stored for up to 1 day.)
5.  Beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
6.  Pipe or spoon 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve immediately.

~charmed b