Thursday, March 4, 2010

Makin' Whoopie....Pies!

I feel like every time I take a look at a blog or some kind of baking website Whoopie Pies always make an appearance. And with all this hype I obviously had to have a go at them! It just so happened that I needed something to make for my brother, who doesn't like chocolate (crazy I know) and for my friend Ashley, who requested something with lemon and cherry as I browsed through different websites and cookbooks for the ideal cookie, I came across Lemon Whoopie Pies on one of my favorite blogs: Joy the Baker. The original Whoopie Pie is actually chocolate cake cookie filled with a fluffy white icing, so this is quite the twist, but delicious no less. (I think I've come across a great recipe for the original too, so be on the lookout for those as well!)

I must warn you that these cookies are highly addicting...per usual I had to try one before sending them off because I will NEVER EVER EVER give someone a sweet that hasn't been tried and tested by yours truly! They're very easy to eat due to the light citrus flavor and before you know it you've devoured one and all you can think about is having another.

*This recipe only makes 8 giant cookies, so I doubled it since I would be sending them to both Peter and Ashley. These cookies are actually pretty big, so you could easily make the cookie smaller and get more out of the batter., but I kinda like the idea of giant cookies. Also, the recipe on calls from Lemon Cream Cheese Filling(if you want that recipe check out her site), but because I was mailing these delectable treats and you can never count on the timing of the mail, I made a basic Lemon Buttercream Icing (with Crisco) and Lemon-Cherry Buttercream Icing.

Lemon Whoopie Pies
recipe adapted from Joy the Baker (who got it from the Big Fat Cookie Book)
8 giant sandwich cookies
Oven: 350 Bake time: 10-12 min

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 TBS butter (room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 large egg
2 TBS fresh lemon juice (or kind in the little lemon squeeze bottle)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla, mixing until blended. The batter may look slightly curdled, but don't worry about it. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture until incorporated. Mix in buttermilk and then add the rest of the flour mixture mixing until smooth again.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop batter onto a parchment lined baking sheets, making sure the cookies are about 3 inches apart from each other. They expand a good amount so you don't want them to run into each other- I went with 6 cookies on each sheet just to play it safe. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for about 10-12 minutes, or until the top feels firm and edges are just barely brown. Cool the cookies for a good 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

The filling:

Lemon and Cherry-Lemon Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup Crisco
2 cups powdered sugar
1 TBS water (maybe)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 TBS lemon juice
*4 TBS Cherry Jam, jelly or preserves

Cream crisco, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Beat in powdered sugar. Mix in lemon juice- add water if consistency is too thick still. If making the Cherry-Lemon Buttercream, mix in cherry jam.

To fill the cookies, turn half upside down. Use a spatula or butter knife to spread each cookie with filling. Place the other cookie bottom side down onto the filling (the filling should be touching the bottoms of both cookies, so the rounded tops are visible).

Did someone say spring time cookie?? Happy Baking!