Red Velvet Whoopie PiesPosted: February 26, 2014 | |
Red velvet! What?! I know, red velvet is a little past it’s heyday, but yesterday was February 25th, my grandpa’s birthday. And due to his unwavering devotion to red velvet cake, I can’t get through the last week of this month with out a – dare I say it – craving for red velvet.
Admittedly, red velvet isn’t the greatest thing on the planet. It has a tiny bit of chocolate in it, which seems to be there just to taunt you into thinking your cake or cookies or what have you will be chocolatey. It always manages to lightly stain your teeth red until you can get your hands on a toothbrush. But still. It’s red velvet. It’s pretty darn good looking, doesn’t taste half bad, and if your grandpa likes it so much, it must be good.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
From Handle the Heat
Makes about 30 pies
Notes: I almost didn’t add the full ounce of food coloring, because that was the entire bottle and it almost felt too unnatural. But only half the bottle didn’t make the batter red, and it will get darker when it bakes. Also, an ounce is two tablespoons, which is kind of a lot of liquid to remove/alter. So I’d definitely recommend using the full ounce. Also the directions say to pipe the batter and frosting. If you don’t have pastry bags, don’t fear! I don’t either. When the batter is ready to bake, just spoon it into one of the bottom corners of a large ziploc bag, squish all the air out, seal it, and cut off the tip of the corner of the bag. Instant pastry bag! This batter is somewhere between a cookie dough and a cake batter, too runny to easily scoop with a spoon and not runny enough to pour, so piping not only makes the batter easier to handle, but makes the whole process go much faster and cleanup much easier.
For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 ounce red food coloring
For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Make the cookies:
Preheat oven to 375 F and place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar to the butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add in the egg. Beat until thoroughly combined. Add in the vanilla. Alternatively beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the buttermilk. Fold with a spatula a couple times to make sure the flour is incorporated. Mix in the food coloring.
Pipe tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about an inch between each round. Bake until tops are set, about 7-9 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, mine barely needed this much time. Cool completely on the cookie sheets.
Make the frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with electric beaters, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla, alternating between them. Beat until smooth.
Assemble the pies:
Pipe the frosting on the flat sides of half the cookies. Place the remaining cookies on top, flat sides down, so the round sides of both cookies will face out.
The whoopie pies can be refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Allow them to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
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