By now the rolls are sufficently stale, but slowly working their way back towards Northeast Ohio via Northwest Pennsylvania. I had never heard of Warnersville, Pennsylvania, but after googling it, I found out it’s a suburb of Pittsburgh. If you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, you haven’t been following this blog series, and need to catch up on your reading. 🙂
When I was brainstorming ideas for a Pennsylvania inspired recipe, I immediately thought of the movie Witness and the reality series Breaking Amish. Terrible, right? Well, despite being witnesses in a thriller starring Harrison Ford and stars of reality television, they are known for their gorgeous hand stitched quilts and delicious food. Since I am a purveyor of all things delicious, I can appreciate the hard work that goes into making recipes from scratch, which is why I’ve pushed aside many so called ‘easy’ recipes for whoopie pies using a cake mix. Don’t get me wrong, cake mixes are wonderful, I’ve been know to use them in my own baking now and then, but this occasion calls for something homemade. I draw the line at handwhipping batters and frosting, so electricity will play a part in the assembly of these pies, I’m sure you will agree too! Unless you are a weight lifter, in which case you may find whipping by hand is ‘as easy as pie’ (excuse the pun bahahahahahah).
Whoopie pies, also known as ‘gobs,’ ‘hucklebucks’ or ‘creamy turtles,’ are a reginal dessert that is popular in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Their size and portability makes them perfect for lunchtime treats. When the farmers would find the snack cakes in their lunch pail they would shout, “Whoopie!” Well, I’m not a farmer, but I agree, a treat of this magnitude would make me squeal with delight anytime of day. Enjoy! 🙂
Note: It is my sister’s birthday today, so I decided to make whoopie pies featuring her favorite kind of cake…..red velvet! There’s also a little surprise in the center of each pie….ganache! Happy Birthday! 😀
Mini Red Velvet Whoopie Pies + Ganache ‘Surprise’
Yield: 24 mini whoopie pies
2 cups all purpose flour
2 TBSP cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
8 – 10 drops red food coloring
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 TBSP whipping cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, whish together the flour cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until fluffly, about two minutes. Add egg, beat until combined. Scrap down sides of the bowl with a spatula, then add the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed add half the dry ingredients and half the milk. Mix until incorporated, scraping down the bowl once more. Add the remainder of the dry ingredients and milk. Add the food coloring and mix to combine.
Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop mounds of batter onto a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake 5 – 7 minutes or until the tops are set. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Heat the cream and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for one minute. Stir, then continue to heat in 15 second intervals until the chocolate is melted.
Flip half the cookies over, and using a pastry bag or ziplock sandwich bag with a snipped corner filled with cream cheese buttercream, pipe a circle of frosting around the cookie, leaving some of the edge showing. Using a spoon, add a dollop of chocolate ganache to the middle. Sandwich the cookie with another cookie on top, pressing gently to push the frosting towards the edges.