bittersweetbaker

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Frosting

In Chocolate, Cookies, Frostings and Icings on December 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm
From Adriana Baking

I’m sitting on the black woven chair by the computer, glowing and alert after a good night’s sleep. The past few days of vacation I have spent at home, learning how to relax again. I never expected high school to be easy, a few years that I could live through without putting in effort. The last week of school before vacation drained the energy from my body until I was waking tired and cranky, and struggling to keep my heavy lids from drooping down during biology class. I couldn’t even manage to fall asleep when I crawled into bed. Often, it would be hours before I floated into a land of unconsciousness – I couldn’t keep my mind off schoolwork. Teachers always seem to load us with homework, deadlines, and upcoming tests just before a break, leading us to crash into Christmas vacation exhausted.

Though the last few days at school were tough, it feels strange to wake up each morning with no plans other than a quick morning run and a new recipe to try. I’m easily sinking into the comfortable embrace of routine, enjoying the holiday spirit wafting in the form of freshly baked gingerbread men from the oven, and the glittering ornaments dangling off the Christmas tree.

From Adriana Baking

The Christmas season has always been my favorite. A few nights ago we took our friend along to take pictures of the huge, glittering Christmas tree in the center of the city.  The lights downtown were turned on, twisted tubes of sunshine in the form of snowflakes. It doesn’t snow here, but it gets cold enough for us to bundle up in numerous layers of warm clothing and to throw a scarf around our necks. Surprisingly, downtown was full of Christmas shoppers and families with toddlers, even though it was a cold, dark night. We window shopped for a while, stopping every now and then to smile at the camera. Our little stroll downtown was a spur of the moment decision. It wasn’t meant to be a special outing, but I can be sure to remember it years from now – memories of the gradual build up of unadulterated joy when we huddled together under the Christmas tree for one last photograph. And when my sister and her friend ran along before my mother and I, excitedly pressing their noses against the frigid glass windows of a clothing shop, I realized how long it had been since I spend time with our friend – I’d missed her, and vacation was the perfect opportunity for us to spend time together.

From Adriana Baking

Christmas is also a perfect opportunity to bake. We received a package from my grandparents a week ago, and I was too impatient to wait until Christmas morning to tear off the wrapping. So I opened it. In my hands lay a copy of the cookbook Baked. The day before, I had read about it on various other blogs – it was such a coincidence. Naturally, I bookmarked a few recipes immediately. I even stayed up reading it by flashlight throughout the night, making a tent out of my sheets. Christmas also brings along with it cool air that is present only during winter. The mint in these chocolate whoopie pies is a breath of crisp winter air, freshening the airway down to my lungs, much like the air I gasp for after my runs.

From Adriana Baking

The frosting was my mother’s favorite part. But the cookies were delicious tiny, tender cakelets. Their chocolate flavor is not prominent, and they contain only cocoa powder, not real chocolate. I was surprised I liked them, because I usually prefer chewy cookies, and these are more cake-like.

I also found out how to leave their domes smooth and how to make them crack. The ones I baked right after mixing the batter had cracked tops, and the ones left to sit (around 10 minutes) while the first batch baked were smooth. I used this recipe for the cream cheese frosting, and added about a 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract.

From Adriana Baking

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

From Baked Explorations (thanks Grandpa and Grandma)!

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 cup hot coffee
1/2 cup hot water
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, and set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Add the hot coffee and 1/2 cup hot water and whisk until both powders are completely dissolved.

In a medium bowl, stir the brown sugar and oil together. Add this to the cocoa mixture and whisk until combined. Add the egg, vanilla and buttermilk and whisk until smooth.

Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you fold.

Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to drop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 1” apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the cream cheese frosting.

To assemble the pies, turn half of the cooled cookies upside down (flat side facing up). Use an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookie. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving.

The whoopie pies will keep for up to 3 days, on a parchment-lined baking sheet covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. Bring the whoopies to room temperature before serving.

From Adriana Baking
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  1. Relaxation is always the best part about holidays! I’m yet to try making whoopie pies, these ones sound lovely, I love the combination of chocolate and mint.

  2. Yum! They look amazing! I’ve heard the Baked cookbook is really something…I’m gonna have to go buy it now!:)

  3. They look delicious! I really want that cookbook, too.

  4. You sound just like me, isn’t it so nice to realx? I love the Baked book! These whoopie pies look really good, the cake part looks perfect! I love the spur of the moment trip to downtown.Enjoy break and Christmas!

  5. This recipe looks amazing. And I love the method you used for the whoopie pies.

  6. These look like a perfect little piece of heaven!

  7. Megan, you are so right. Every time I’m hungry I don’t really go to this blog because I will be dying. YUMMY!!!!!!!! You can also put comments on my blog at:

    http://junaldpascua.wordpress.com/

  8. I can’t even speak anymore. I want one.

  9. Whoopi Pies are probably the best thing to come out of America in years. They are relatively new to England, so I think I may give them a go and amaze my friends!

  10. Adriana, I’m very impressed by your blog and your desire to bake. Keep your passion going and before you know it you’ll have your own bakery. And when you do let me know.
    BTW, I made some pumpkin caramel whoopie pies earlier in the fall that I blogged about. Also inspired by the Baked cookbook.
    I’ll be adding you to our blogroll too.
    Happy Eating!
    Jason
    (y)our food choices

  11. Peppermint and chocolate are always a lovely combination, cant wait to try this recipe

    Raymund

    http://angsarap.wordpress.com

  12. oh my goood these whoopies look delicious :D and i love the photos, great stuff!! :)

  13. You make me so hungry! I think I’m going to try to make these they look amazing!

  14. yummy
    yummy
    yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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