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Whoopie Pies

December 22, 2010

The cupcake trend is officially over. Finished. Dunzo. Here to take its place … the whoopie pie. I keep seeing recipes for these suckers. My top two reasons why:

1. One could call them rustic, which loosely translated means they don’t require the skill set of Martha Stewart and a gazillion kitchen tools to make. Sweet, creamy filling piled between two soft cookie-ish pillows trump stale cupcakes any day of the week.

2. People like saying the word “whoopie.” And like it with the word “pie.” It doesn’t hurt that it looks and tastes like a revved up Oreo (sans the lard-laden vanilla filling).

At any rate, my lovely sister-in-law made these for us at a holiday party she hosted, and everyone gobbled them up. Her version had chocolate cookies and a vanilla filling that she rolled in peppermint. They are tasty, simple to whip up, and will be an instant nostalgic hit in your dessert repertoire.

Classic Chocolate Whoopie
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Position a rack in the center of the over and preheat the oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.

Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and ½ cup milk and beat until completely combined.

Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the pies spring back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Makes about 48 two-inch cakes.

Classic Marshmallow Filling
1 ½ cups Marshmallow Fluff (or other prepared marshmallow cream, which will do in a pinch)
1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Marshmallow Fluff and the vegetable shortening, starting on low and increasing to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.