December was a cold cold month here, or so I thought!! January is turning out a lot colder than anyone expected. We are in the chiller, so to speak. But I have to say that the December Daring Bakers' Challenge of making Whoopie Pies cheered me up no end. I have walked our local farmers' market every summer and gazed at the bakery stands with their delicious wares. I have looked at wonder at kids, students, and sundry adults dive into enormous Whoopie Pies of all sizes, flavours, and colours. But I have so far never been able to work up the courage to actually purchase one and eat it.
You may wonder why! Fear - yes fear that I may not like it, finish it, waste it, that it was just too big, would lie in the refrigerator and then land in the trash a few days later. There I said it. But the base of this fear lies in not really knowing the ingredients and wondering if it is eggless. As my readers know, most of my baking is eggless. I can't abide the smell of egg yellow in bakery or for that matter any food products! And though I do use egg whites (rarely) when I bake, I prefer to use buttermilk, yogurt, or milk when making cakes and cookies.
In the event, to say that I was delighted to see the December challenge would be an understatement. Though I did get a bit worried when I set out to substitute the egg in this recipe with yogurt, I have to say the results were simply spectacular. I got such a wonderfully light cake-cookie that I cannot wait to try this recipe again in a different flavour. I tweaked the recipe for the Whoopie Pies in the challenge a fair bit to get the results and taste I desired. But I stuck to the filling recipe, though I used the cream cheese filling and not the butter cream or marshmallow one!!
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup yogurt, plain
2 tbsp dark chocolate chunks
11/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup milk
For Cream Cheese Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened (low fat)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
11/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
- Begin with making the Whoopie Pies.
- Place the chocolate chunks in a bowl add 2 tablespoons of the milk and microwave for 45 seconds or until they are softened. Cool completely.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and yogurt and continue beating until well incorporated.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.
- Now add a couple of tablespoons of flour mix into the butter mix, beat then, add a couple of tablespoons of milk. Repeat until all the flour and milk is blended into the butter mix.
- Using a dessert spoon, place dollops of the mix onto a prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for about 15 minutes.
- A toothpick inserted into the center of a cake should come out clean.
- Remove from the oven, cool completely on a wire rack.
- Now prepare the cream cheese filling. Begin with whipping the cream cheese and butter together until they are completely blended. Now add the vanilla extract, salt, and confectioners' sugar. Beat until smooth.
- To assemble: Spread or pipe the filling onto the flat side of half the cakes. Top with remaining cakes, flat side towards the filling. Place on a dessert plate and cover with cling film until ready to serve.
Good to Know
- The prepared cakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. If you intend to keep them longer, refrigerate them or freeze them. Defrost, bring to room temperature, then fill and enjoy.
- Once you have filled the cakes, eat within the day or wrap each whoopie pie individually in cling film and refrigerate until needed. I prefer them at room temperature, so remove them from the refrigerator a couple of hours before enjoying.
- The cream cheese filling can also be up to a couple of days in advance. Just store in a glass airtight container until needed. Then bring to room temperature before piping on to the pies. This can be handy if you are preparing a larger quantity of Whoopie Pies for a party.
Like this recipe. Tried it. Leave me a comment:)
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