Peppermint Whoopie Pies

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Peppermint Whoopie PiesWhen I received the invitation for my friends’ annual Vodka Latke party (yes, there was a lot of vodka and latkes), I knew I had to bake something. But what goes with vodka and latkes? I couldn’t make cupcakes because they ordered some from Magnolia Bakery, so I asked the hosts and one of them suggested…peppermint whoopie pies of course. I mean, what else does a Jew bring to a Hanukkah party?

So, off to the store I went to buy candy canes. I think this was probably the first time I’ve ever bought candy canes, and I have no idea if some are better than others, but I did learn these things are a huge pain to crush. I put them in a Ziploc bag and used a rolling pin only to discover doing so created holes in the bag and consequently, crushed candy cane all over my kitchen. Next time, food processor.

Anyway, these are good. I don’t know what whoopie pies are supposed to taste like, but these were a hit so apparently they tasted like a whoopie pie. The cookie (which was kind of cakey) was soft and not too chocolately or sweet. The sweetness came from the filling and of course, the not-so-crushed candy canes on the outside. If you have some leftover candy canes, I recommend making these!

Whoopie Pie Ingredients
1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (120 ml) lukewarm water

Filling Ingredients
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 – 7 ounce (198 grams) jar of marshmallow creme or fluff
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners sugar, sifted
6-8 drops of red liquid food coloring
1/3 cup (80 ml) crushed candy canes

Whoopie Pie Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (can also use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg beating well. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a small measuring cup, mix the buttermilk and coffee (or water). With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk/coffee mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Drop heaping tablespoons (can also use a small ice cream scoop) of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. With moistened fingers or with the back of a spoon, smooth the tops of the cookies.

Bake for about 9-10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies, when lightly pressed, spring back. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Filling Preparation
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and well blended. Beat in the vanilla extract and marshmallow creme. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then, on high speed, beat filling until it is light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add a little cream (if filling is too thick) or confectioners sugar (if filling is too thin) to get the right spreading consistency. Stir in crushed candy canes.

To Assemble: Take one cookie and spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling on the flat side of the cookie. Top with another cookie.

The assembled cookies can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes about 15 sandwich cookies.

Recipe from Joy of Baking.