There are two important things to know about me before you read this post:
1. I had never made whoopie pies before (actually really didn’t have any idea what they were).
2. Math has never been my best subject.
It was another alone (but not necessarily lonely) Friday night. Older boys up at the mountain, toddler boy asleep. And I was catching up on all my favorite foodie blogs – when this recipe from Geni, at Sweet and Crumby, jumped out at me. It was a whoopie pie recipe with two of my go-to ingredients, peanut butter and chocolate.
Let me say that this was not a good thing to see because I was by myself, I knew I had pretty much all the ingredients, and I had a serious chocolate craving going on.
Knowing that this would be the first time I made whoopie pies, I had to google to find out what they were exactly. From what I could determine, they’re basically like an inside-out cupcake. Cake on the outside, frosting on the inside.
Sounded good to me.
Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, slightly adapted from Sweet and Crumby
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
4 T vegetable shortening
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c buttermilk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Get out two cookie sheets and line with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour through salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, shortening and brown sugar. Then add the peanut butter and vanilla. Combine on low-speed and then add one egg at a time, beating with each addition on low-speed. Add 1/2 the dry ingredients and combine. Then add half of the buttermilk and mix together. Repeat until all of your ingredients are incorporated. Don’t over mix or your cookies will be tough.
Using a spoon or 2 tablespoon scoop, drop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto on of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 15 minutes each or until the cakes begin to brown at the edges and are slightly firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Do not frost until they are completely cooled.
Chocolate Butter Cream
1 1/2 c confectioners’ sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 c butter, at room temperature
3 T half n half
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the powdered sugar, butter and cocoa, starting on low-speed and increasing to medium speed until the mixture is crumbly. Add the half n half & vanilla and beat on high until smooth, about three minutes. The butter cream should be fairly stiff. You can always add more powdered sugar by 1/4 c. if the mixture is not stiff enough.
Pipe or spread frosting between two cookies and enjoy.
Okay, I was doing really well – until I went to scoop my batter onto my cookie sheet. Unfortunately, part of my math challenges (besides shape making) is determining capacity. For this recipe, my estimation of a two tablespoon scoop may have been a bit big. The rounds didn’t look too bad on my cookie sheet…
So this time, when they cooked, the cookies spread into each other. Awesome. (Aren’t you all glad I’m not teaching our youth math anymore?! – And I figured you didn’t need to see another poorly lighted cookie sheet pic.)
Once again, the cookies turned out very thin. The texture was light and soft, but not at all what I was expecting from Geni’s gorgeous whoopie pies. My third round turned out the same.
I was completely bummed. But I soldiered on, because the chocolate part was next.
And I was so glad I did.
I have to say, this chocolate buttercream recipe is hands-down the best frosting I have ever had in my life. (I think I would bathe in it if I could). You’d be so surprised to know that it is very chocolatey and very buttery. (You’re shocked, I know.) A perfect balance of both flavors that was just absolutely divine.
And even though my cookies were not at all cupcake-like (in shape or texture), the flavor was a wonderful light peanut butter that complimented the frosting like a dream.
1. I’m getting out the ruler and other measurement utensils next time. (Or reviewing my kindergarten/first grade math curriculum for a refresher.)
2. Apparently there is an actual whoopie pie pan – I think I’ll need to get one if I make whoopie pies again.
3. I need to find something else to use this buttercream on. Very, very soon.