The December Daring Baker's Challenge had us all cheering. The lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavours we choose... what else is there to say but "Whoopie!".
Incidentally, that was exactly how this cake-biscuit treat got it's name. Apparently, according to the ever reliable (?) Wikipedia, Amish women used to sneak this into their husband's lunch boxes every now and again. When the men opened their lunches and discovered the treats - after a long morning's work - they let out a "whoopie"!
This is my first attempt at making whoopie pies. I've eaten them before but have never gotten around to actually making them. I like me a big old cake rather than mini cookie cakes ... they just require so much more work.
But this was fun because while I chose the very basic chocolate for my pies, I experimented with the filling a little and settled on this yoghurt, lemon and coconut cream cheese filling. Whoa, that's a mouthful.
Chocolate and coconut go together well, no doubt about that. I didn't want a really rich filling like buttercream or marshmallow simply because I don't have a sweet tooth. Yoghurt, though, I love. And lemon? Double love.
The filling was definitely luscious but also a little too soft. It didn't hold together all that well which proved a little messy when handling the pies. I chilled them and that made it a wee bit better. I think perhaps it could be because I opted for low fat cream cheese which is a little softer than the full fat version.
Also, because the tops of the pies are curved, they are a little wobbly when set on a plate or surface. Oh heck, let me just say they toppled. Well, some of them did. I should have consulted the daring baker's forum for tips because only after I'd assembled my pies did I see Agos of Sabor Pastel's top of weighing half the pies down with a baking tray once they're out of the oven so they'll have a flatter base. Genius!
Nevertheless, loved the challenge and the pies. Especially the filling!
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
11/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1tsp vanilla extract
113g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp instant espresso (optional)
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda together and whisk in the salt.
Mix the vanilla extract and buttermilk.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix till incorporated. With the mixer on low, add the flour and buttermilk, alternating between the two until the batter/dough (it's a thick batter) is well combined.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Using a table spoon, drop mounds of dough on a lined baking sheet, about 1.5 inches apart as they expand slightly.
Bake for 11-12 mins.
1 cup Greek yoghurt
113g cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
Cream the cream cheese, yoghurt and sugar till light and well combined. Add the coconut and mix. Chill until the pies have cooled and you're ready to fill them.