written by Becky
The challenge: Irish Whoopie Pies: convert the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Irish Cream-Cream Cheese Icing to Whoopie Pies.
It all started with a co-worker bringing Guinness Cupcakes with amazing Irish Cream Cream Cheese Frosting to work and everyone adoring them… and then it was suggested that the Whoopie Pie version should be attempted. The rest, well here is what happened:
Maybe it wasn’t the best idea, but I decided to start the Cupcake-to-Whoopie Pie recipe swap with A) a recipe I hadn’t tried before, B) a cupcake that isn’t your classic cupcake recipe, C) a recipe that contains a lot of liquids that could result in a cookie sheet full of flat, baked together “cookies”, and finally D) a recipe involving an ingredient that I don’t really like: BEER. But the challenge had been given and I don’t back down easily.
While searching for the recipe right now to post the link, I now realize that there are many recipes that use a cup or less of beer – rather than the whole bottle as my recipe recommended! That would have been much easier to work with because of the reduced volume of liquid! But then again, what would I do with the leftover beer? So with one difficulty being the recipe, the second difficulty was trying to buy a single can/bottle of Guinness. I admitted defeat in this area: I went to 3 different liquor stores/cold beer & wine stores and couldn’t find it so I ended up buying Double Chocolate Stout. I figured it would work well since the cupcakes are chocolate anyways!
My initial plan was to reduce the amount of liquid and eggs in the recipe but instead I decided that adding more flour could work just as well. (I will post the recipe at the end of this post for those that want it – both the original and how I made it.) I don’t think I thought this through well enough as I likely should have added more baking soda as well but oh well. Initially I added just an extra ½ cup. Then I baked a single Whoopie in my toaster oven. Very quickly I could tell that it was spreading quite a bit. I added another ¾ cup (so total was 1 ¼ cup) as I had previously come across something that suggested just adding an extra 1 ¼ cup of flour to a cake mix makes whoopie pie consistency batter. I baked another cookie. It was better but still not quite fully there so I added another ½ cup. Well this didn’t seem to improve the flatness much and I could tell the cookies were becoming less chocolaty so I dumped in ¼ cup extra cocoa and just went for it. This batter was sort of weird to work with as it was much more elastic than what I am used to working with for Whoopie Pies or cakes. Plus it formed what I called “warts” while baking – so some of the Whoopies had bubbles coming up (I totally forgot to take pics of my warty cookies!). To be thorough in description – the other change I made was to switch the oil to butter so they wouldn’t flatten as much (shortening might have worked even better).
The batter was endless – this made a VERY LARGE batch! It may not have helped that I switched to my small cookie scoop as I was bringing them to work and I like to make sure lots of people can try them.
The biggest disappointments with this experiment were that the batter tasted DISGUSTING and the beer smell wafting from the oven when you took the baked Whoopies out. Ugh, did I mention I don’t like beer?
The results though were DELICIOUS! At first I didn’t think it had worked, the cookies didn’t seem the right texture and they didn’t look all that moist. I figured all that extra flour had dried them out. But no, they were bubbly and moist. Plus, when you added the Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting they tasted quite good!
Oh, right I haven’t mentioned the filling yet! The co-worker/friend that had come up with this Whoopie Pie challenge kindly brought me the Baileys to use since I was out of stock at home. Although I included the recipe below, I really didn’t follow it. I basically beat together a package of cream cheese, ½ cup butter, some Baileys and some icing sugar. I say “some” because really I just put in Baileys until I liked the strength of the taste (no wimpy icing for me!) and balanced out the viscosity with icing sugar. And then added more Baileys since it was a little more dilute again! Mmm… Unfortunately the icing was a little softer than I would normally like to pipe with but cream cheese icing will stiffen up with cold so after piping some sloppy icing, I put some in the freezer before piping the rest. Of course I left it too long and then had to try to soften it again so I could pipe it. Fun. But in the end they were worth it – tasty and boozy with an interesting texture (I don’t quite know how to describe it – there is almost a pleasant chewiness to them).
Next? Well I just discovered there are Red Wine Cupcakes – that is a WAY better idea than Beer Cupcakes!
Here is a recipe similar to what I was given (except mine said yogurt instead of sour cream). And here is what I actually did:
Guinness Whoopie Pies with Baileys Cream Cheese Filling
1bottle Double Chocolate Stout
½ cup milk
½ c butter
2tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup 2% plain yogurt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 ½ tsp baking soda
Directions (Note: I didn’t follow the directions as stated in the recipe, since I was using butter, I wanted to beat the butter & sugar together first and so mixed things according to how I would normally make a cake batter).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat together butter & sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla followed by the yogurt.
- In another mixing bowl, mix together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda.
- Starting with the dry ingredients, alternate between mixing in the dry ingredients and the stout & milk (I didn’t add them mixed together – I did the stout in two additions and the milk as a separate wet addition). The original recipe says to not overbeat but I am sure I did as I was trying to figure out the right amount of flour!
- Scoop (I used my cookie scoop) 1-2 Tb of batter onto the paper. Bake 6-8 minutes until set in the middle.
- Cool a couple minutes and then transfer to a drying rack.
Cream cheese icing
250g cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
Bailey’s Irish cream
Beat all together!
Assemble Whoopies: Place one cookie flat side up and pipe icing on. Sandwich another cookie over top. Done! Refrigerate to solidify the icing more!
Note from Courteney: These were SO GOOD!! They were such a big hit at work; they went faster than the Classic whoopie pies! You won’t believe the compliments Becky got. SUCCESS!!