Tag Archives: Recipe Tested

Almond Roca-Inspired Whoopie Pies

So I, uh… I made these before Christmas – yep over 2 months ago – when all the delicious flavours of Christmas were around. And then I never posted them. No reason. I have no excuse. I have been neglectful. I was told I could use “training for a marathon” as an excuse but it really isn’t one at all. It does take some of my time but I am generally always training for something or if I am not, I am still just as active. And really it has just been the last two weeks that training has ramped up. So the answer is, I have no excuse. Sorry about that.

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These didn’t quite capture Almond Roca as I had hoped, then again, I think I must have been dreaming. A good portion of the deliciousness of Almond Roca is the crunch of the toffee. Whoopie Pies are soft. That would be a problem. Hence why I am calling these “Almond Roca Inspired” rather than just Almond Roca Whoopie Pies. I put toffee bits in the batter and chocolate filling inside. Then of course I had to melt a little chocolate for the top and cover them with toasted almond pieces. So that all sort of made them like Almond Roca, with its toffee core and chocolate and almond bits on top! Either way, these were tasty little guys!

Toffee’fied Whoopie Pies

(makes 16 or so depending on size) adapted from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingley and Amy Treadwell

  • 2 1/4 all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tb milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup toffee bits (Skor or Heath bits depending on if you are from Canada or USA!)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter for a minute or so and then add the sugars. Continue beating for a few minutes until light & fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.
  4. Add the buttermilk slowly with the mixer on low.
  5. In a small bowl or measuring cup, add the milk and then the baking soda and vinegar (it will froth up!)
  6. First mix in about half the flour mixture, then the milk mix, then finally the rest of the flour. Stir in the toffee bits.
  7. Drop  or scoop about 1-2 Tb of batter onto the baking sheets. Space them well as these spread!
  8. Bake 8-10 min or until the cookies bounce back when lightly touched. Allow them to cool a few minutes before transferring them to a drying rack.

Chocolate Dream Filling

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
  • 2 1/2 cup icing sugar
  1. Beat together butter and chocolate.
  2. Add icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time.

Other ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup toasted almond slices
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Assemble by filling two equally sized & shaped Whoopie Pies with 1.5-2Tb filling (generally use as much filling as you used for the batter of each side of the Whoopie). Squish together. Using the back of a spoon or a pastry brush, drizzle or ‘paint’ on a layer of chocolate to the top of each Whoopie Pie and then sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Refrigerate to allow the filling to firm up a little. Enjoy!
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The “Almost Breakfast” Whoopie Pies

written by Becky

Banana Bread-Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies with Dulce de Leche Buttercream 

As is usually the case with any banana baking, the plan was to use up the rather brown 3 bananas that I had in the fridge. I had several thoughts of what to do with these inedible rejects including the usual banana bread, healthy banana oat or bran muffins, or of course Banana Whoopie Pies. And I had a mission to fulfill with these bananas: make

something for lab meeting since I was presenting and I like to provide something tasty and home-baked to distract people before I start presenting! In my head, people go easier on you if they are sweetened up a little!

The problem was that that I felt like Whoopie Pies might be a little sweet for a morning lab meeting. But when I realized that I needed to make some dessert to take to a friend’s for dinner on Saturday, I figured I would multi-purpose some Whoopie Pies and just make my lab-mates endure the sweetness at 10:30am. I had thought that I would try to make a more breakfast version by making them banana oat but since they needed to also now be served for dessert, they had to be banana-chocolate instead! But they are made with half whole wheat flour so they are almost breakfast-like!!

As a sidenote, I do realize this is the second Banana Whoopie Pie on this blog but I still needed to try the recipe in the book! Plus, I had to use up those 3 bananas and needed something not too sweet for lab meeting! So it made sense to me!

I mostly followed the recipe from the Whoopie Pie cookbook but changed it enough that I can actually

call it my own! Apparently you need to change 3 things in a recipe to call it your own but I will still comment that I adapted the recipe from this one!

For the filling, I had some Banana Dulce de Leche sauce I had bought awhile back, which I never really knew what to do with but I wanted to try it, and I decided that it would work just mixed into a regular buttercream. It ended up a not very strong flavour but it was the PERFECT texture to pipe!

In the end, I created a delicious cookie that really tasted more like sup

er moist banana bread with a creamy tasty filling! Mmm… it had great reviews. And, the friend that I took these creations to on Saturday night did eat her leftovers for breakfast Sunday, prior to going for a run with me!

Next time, I will try to make this even more breakfast like and make a Banana Oat Whoopie Pie (sans chocolate chips)  with maybe Honey Cream Cheese Filling? Or the Peanut Butter buttercream would be good… or I mentioned a Nutella filling and had people drooling…

PS. sorry to those at work that aren’t in my lab that missed out on sampling these ones! I ran out 😦

Banana Chocolate Chip Whoopie

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tb unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 Tb shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk together the two flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer (or just a bowl with beaters), beat butter, shortening and vanilla until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well mixed.
  4. Add bananas and beat for about 2 minutes. Beat in dry ingredients with mixer on low just until mixed. Mix in chocolate chips.
  5. Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, portion batter onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes (depends on your pan and your oven etc) until the cakes look slightly brown and cooked. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to rack to cool.
As a sidenote, you could use all butter and no shortening, I just happen to have shortening. Plus I have read a few placed that say it makes for lighter, fluffier baking so I thought I would use some. The original recipe actually calls for a 50:50 mix of butter & shortening but I really don’t like shortening.

Dulce de Leche Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup dulce de leche sauce
  • 2 cups icing or confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 tsp water if necessary
Beat butter until creamy. Add vanilla and then sauce. Beat in sugar 1/2 cup at a time. If it is stiff, add water to get a creamy smooth consistency. I honestly don’t remember if this is exactly what I did and really I just dumped the rest of the sauce in that I had but hopefully it should work!

My Favourite Whoopies So Far

written by Becky

Fudgey Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter Filling

Ok, it was back at making Whoopie Pies this week. I had actually made these Whoopie Pies a few weeks ago for something but I had none left to share with several important testers and was afraid if I posted on this recipe that I would be shunned for not bringing in any to share. Especially after I would have raved on about them because they are AMAZING!!

So I am not sure if this is what makes the difference but these cookies have 3 different kinds of chocolate. First some unsweetened & semi-sweet chocolate are melted together with butter, then some cocoa is sifted with the flour. Between this and the 3 eggs (most Whoopie Pie recipes seems to have only 1 or max 2), these Whoopie Pies are super fudgey and thick! Like a brownie really! Although I know they aren’t at all authentic, they sure are tasty (then again I love this flavour combination)!

The first party I took them to was a dinner party at my friends’ place. I also took a Blueberry Lemon Tiramisu (with home made lady fingers). Both desserts were a hit but when I went to leave a little bit early, the four people that were left asked if I could leave the ONLY four Whoopie Pies that were left for them. I had saved two at home for two friends at work but after coming home with none, I ate the other two the next day! Oops. (They were little Whoopies by the way!) I tried a few new things with these guys.

  • First: Marshmallows. Only because I was asked to incorporate marshmallows into my dessert from a friend currently addicted to the little sugar bombs did they get this decor. I wasn’t sure how they would be so I didn’t do it to all.
  • Second: Piping the cookies. These ones were just done with a piping bag with no tip. It worked well to pipe them and the finished products are perfect little circles! Even more perfect than using a cookie scoop!

I also piped the delicious (although quite stiff) filling (this is pretty usual) to make lovely little designs, which just got smushed between the cookies!

The third new trial thing (may as well just try everything in one batch!) was to dip some of the Whoopie Pies in chocolate. I didn’t fully enrobe any in chocolate but instead just dipped some in about 1/3 of the way or I drizzled the top with chocolate (I just used dark melting wafers).

Some were also left unadorned. They were a huge hit and I knew this was one of my favourite Whoopie Pies! The cookies are super fudgey and rich and chewy while the filling has a good amount of peanut butter kick! And I loved the ones dipped in a bit of chocolate!

So this was the first batch I made. I made a second batch in honour of the Royal Wedding. Honestly, none of us at work really cared about the wedding but we did think it was a great excuse for a fun tea party complete with fascinators and mini foods! I figured this was my excuse to make this delicious concoction again – as well as use the other half of the peanut butter frosting that I had stored in the freezer.

I didn’t add anything extra but I did pipe the cookies with one of my new (1M I think) piping tips! Don’t they look lovely?


Fudgey Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter Buttercream (adapted from the Food Network Kitchens)

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup  cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Use parchment paper to line a couple baking sheets.
  2. Melt the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates with the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 75% power until the butter is mostly melted and the chocolate is starting to soften around the edges (about 2 minutes). Stir and continue heating at 60% stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is smooth & melted. Cool at room temp about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients & mix until moistened. Don’t overmix.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop, a piping bag or spoon to portion batter onto the prepared pan. These are pretty rich so you may not want to make giant ones! Space the cookies about 1-inch apart. They don’t spread much. Bake 6 minutes. They should look moist still but not wet and should  spring back when lightly touched.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Filling:

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cup icing or confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 Tb (or more) whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Beat together peanut butter & butter. Add 1/2 cup at a time of the icing sugar until stiff. Add whipping cream & vanilla. You may need to add more whipping cream (milk would also work fine but I had whipping cream from something else) to get the desired consistency.
Use a small cookie scoop, a piping bag, a small spatula, or a spoon to add a dallop of the filling to the inside of half of your Whoopie Pies. Smush together with the other side for an amazingly delicious Whoopie Pie!

Where did all the Whoopie Go?

written by Becky

Red Wine Cupcakes with Blackberry-Reduced Wine Icing

I have a confession, I have been neglecting making Whoopies (I so wanted to write “makin’ Whoopie” without pluralizing it as I knew it would be more amusing but… well I am referring to the cookies and nothing further). There are two reasons for this neglect. First, I have discovered a problem with having a Whoopie Pie blog and it is not running out of things to say about them, as was suggested might happen, but rather I feel like I can’t bake everything else I love to bake. Second, I have been taking a cake decorating course for the past month and so have been force to bake sugar cookies, a cake, cupcakes and then another cake. Even though I do have a sweet tooth, eating Whoopies on top of all of these things is a lot of sugar!

So here is the solution: a new addition to Let’s Make Whoopie – a place for other baking done by Courteney or I!

And since I previously had mentioned the red wine cupcakes in the Guinness Whoopie Pie post, I figured that was a good place to start – I would get to try what sounded like a delicious recipe, and I would make the required cupcakes for my class.

Although I have never heard about these interesting culinary concoctions, I discovered that there are actually several red wine cupcake recipes out there, some have a lot of chocolate, some have a little chocolate, and some have none. Of course the amount of red wine in the recipes differ as well and the frostings vary from a condensed milk glaze to a port wine buttercream to a blackberry wine buttercream to a chocolate ganache frosting. Since I was hoping to be able to taste the wine, I figured I would stay away from the super-chocolatey ones but since chocolate and red wine pair well together to follow a recipe with at least some chocolate. Furthermore, this recipe was shown with the blackberry-wine buttercream and I thought that sounded FANTASTIC. Here is the recipe. I used a Cabernet Sauvignon for both the cupcakes and the icing since it is what I had.

I should add that unlike the beer batter Whoopies, the batter for these were delicious. It was creamy and smooth and so so good. And you can see that they baked up nice as well! Look how much they rose and how perfectly rounded they are! They also smelled good – not really chocolatey or vanilla-y like most baked items but sweet and comforting.

As a sidenote, it occurred to me when I was using my giant “cookie” scoop that I mentioned in the post about size that using the big one meant that one “American Sized” Whoopie Pie is actually equivalent to TWO cupcakes (with less icing of course). That is a lot of Whoopie!

Because my cake decorating class was teaching us how to fill cupcakes as well, I figured that was a good excuse to fill these guys with a chocolate ganache filling. I just did the basic ganache: heat 1/2 cup of whipping cream until it bubbles around the edge then pour that over 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate. Wait about 2-3 minutes and then stir until it is nice and smooth (of course it looks kind of nasty first – like the picture). Oh and then I added about a tablespoon of seedless raspberry jam. I should point out that I originally thought I would do a whipped ganache – basically just whip it after it has cooled in the fridge to add more airiness  – but when I went to pipe this into the middle of the cupcakes it was way too hard so I melted it in the microwave for 15 seconds and it became liquid! Oh well, still piped that way.

So after piping in the filling, it was time to decorate! First a layer of the blackberry – wine frosting (for those interested, I was originally disappointed as I didn’t feel like there was enough flavour to it but then decided I did quite like it) and then some fun decorating. Since we were learning different techniques, I decided to just try them all – hence all the random different types! I kind of like the whimsical look of them! In the end, I liked these cupcakes a lot. The red wine flavour isn’t strong but there is something familiar about it that makes them tasty. The texture is good and moist although somewhat dense. I loved the chocolate ganache filling with it too! So all in all, a success, even if they weren’t Whoopie Pies!

I don’t really know which is my favourite – either the one below (a Shaggy Mum) or the pretty pink icing with the yellow flowers & leaves (I love piping leaves)! It was fun to take them to work to see which one people picked as their cupcake of choice!


Challenge: Sucrose-free Whoopie Pies

Written by Courteney

The Challenge: To modify a whoopie pie recipe so as not to use granulated OR icing sugar.

The Backstory: One of my friends/co-workers is, unfortunately, allergic to both fruit sugars (fructose) and ‘normal’ sugar (i.e. granulated sugar).  I know.  A little bit tragic – I don’t know how she survives.  However, she’s always interested in what baking adventures Becky and I have/are embarking on, and was one of the first readers of our blog.  So I decided that a fun challenge would be to try to modify a whoopie pie recipe so that she, too, could enjoy the experience that is the Whoopie Pie.

My friend is a huge fan of peanut butter, so I decided to make classic chocolate whoopies with salty peanut butter icing, from the book Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley & Amy Treadwell.  I’ve posted my modified recipe after the break, for those of you who are interested.

Since my friend is allergic to sucrose, she suggested I substitute dextrose, which is another type of sugar with slightly different chemical structure, which she usually uses in her baking instead of granulated sugar.  It’s found in the bulk food section of some grocery stores (i.e. Save-on Foods) and is of a slightly different texture than granulated sugar.  It’s definitely not granular, but more powdery, like icing sugar.

Dextrose from the bulk food section (picture taken at the mouth of the bag)

Since dextrose is not very sweet, my friend suggested using rice syrup as a sweetener, which she can eat and has a consistency a little like honey.

Rice syrup, available from Whole Foods. It kind of reminds me of alfalfa honey.

If a recipe calls for, say, 1 cup of sugar, she usually substitutes 1/2 cup of rice syrup, and 1/2 cup of dextrose – this provides the bulk that granulated sugar gives to a recipe, as well as a little sweetness, although it’s nowhere near the sweetness of regular sugar.  This conversion was my starting point.

I accidentally over-thawed my butter (I forgot to take it out of the freezer earlier, so to ‘soften’ it to ‘room temperature’, I stuck it in the microwave.  It promptly melted), which probably contributed to the liquid-y-ness that I found (I’ll discuss this more later).  But here’s a picture that gives a better idea of what rice syrup is like – it’s the beige-coloured viscous liquid just above/on the white dextrose.

This gives a better idea of what the rice syrup looks like. Taken pre-mixing of the butter (melted, yellow), shortening, dextrose (white), and rice syrup (beige-coloured trickles above the dextrose)

I found that when I did a strict substitution of 1/2 cup of rice syrup and dextrose, each, for 1 cup of brown sugar, the outcome was very liquid.  On the right, you’ll see my cookie sheet pre-baking, and below, post-baking:

Pre-baked

Post-baked

As you can see, there was some serious spreading occurring.  I quickly went back and added another 1/4 cup of dextrose and about 1/3+1/4 cup (=7/12 cup?) of flour to soak up the excess liquid.  My second attempt looked something like this, which I judged to be more whoopie pie-like:

MUCH better!!

The icing was very simple and delicious – I really liked that the salt brought out the peanut butter flavour and gave it a different, sharper taste.  For the icing, I instead of 3/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar, I used 1/4 cup of rice syrup (for sweetness) and about 3/4 cup of dextrose.  It ended up being a teeny bit dry and difficult to pipe (I burst a hole in my makeshift icing bag trying to ice these!) so maybe next time I’ll decrease the amount of dextrose I added.  YUM!

How simply delicious!

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Traditional Whoopie Pies: A Poll

Written by Courteney

Today, Becky made two traditional whoopie pie recipes.  Vote which one you liked best!


It’s Pi day! In my world, that means Whoopie Pies!

Written by Becky

Aiming to Perfect the Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pie with Marshmallow Fluff Filling in honour of Pi Day! (After making them I realized it isn’t worth perfecting this recipe! Better to just make my own creations!)

To be honest, I had never actually heard about Pi day before – Courteney told me about it and after a moments thought, I realized what she meant: Pi day – Pi as in the “value of the ratio of a circle’s area to the square of its radius” (approximately 3.14159265) – is March 14 (3-14). So I figured this was a great excuse to make Whoopie Pies for a bunch of science “geeks” at work (besides the fact that I had been promising quite  few of them that I would bring some in so everyone could try Whoopie Pies!)


I decided on the Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Fluff Filling for two reasons: I wasn’t that happy with the chocolate Whoopie recipe I had tried before (as mentioned in the post about “A Hot Whoopie Pie Creation“) and wanted to try a new one, and because I bought the original Marshmallow Fluff last weekend I wanted to know what the Original Whoopie Pie tasted like! Problem is, there are quite a few recipes out there… so I decided to try two! I know, I have issues – I may be a little indecisive and a bit of a perfectionist!

The first one was from King Arthur’s Flour and although it had decent reviews, it didn’t actually differ that much from the one in the Whoopie Pie book. But it claimed to be true to the original (although other sources say the cookie/cakes are supposed to be made with shortening).

The second recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook. A similar recipe is found here although it is not identical (I halved the recipe in the book so it was the same size as the one on the website except that the book one has 1/2 TB baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 cup butter instead of butter + shortening, all white sugar, and buttermilk instead of regular milk).

Based on looks, I would say Martha has the better recipe. Furthermore, the smell of these ones are divine! So much chocolatier! Taste – well, a little disappointing actually. Both are a little crumblier than what I would like. Sort of like a cake’ish-brownie. It isn’t bad, just not quite what I wanted! I was hoping for moist, taste, chocolatey goodness. I shall have to see what my co-workers think but I think I am still looking for the perfect recipe!

So onto the filling! To make the classic, it has to be the Fluff + shortening (check out the recipe/blog from King Arthur’s Flour for more info on this if you really care why!) Again, there are many recipes – some have more fluff, some have more shortening. I went with the recipe in the Whoopie Pie book (jar of Marshmallow Fluff + 1 cup shortening + 1 cup icing sugar + 1 tsp clear vanilla). The texture is quite different from what I am used to for icing, I think it is the Fluff/shortening combo. And the taste is uninspiring: it is sort of just a bland white slightly sugary mixture. Blah.

So yes, overall I am not into the classic recipe. I think it was a good experiment to do but I don’t think I will be buying Fluff again and I will have to keep looking for a great chocolate Whoopie Pie recipe so that I can fill them with tasty things like peanut butter icing!

Note: both are on the plate!