whoopie pies

I’d heard of whoopie pies before the other day but never knew what they were. They look kinda like UFOs or maybe gigantic Oreos, (which, by the way, I hadn’t encountered before the age of 13 or so and don’t actually like. Please don’t hurt me, it’s just the way it is. I don’t like Oreos, I don’t like bananas, I don’t like orange and chocolate together [most of the time…])

I’m weird. It’s been proven over and over.

So anyway, I saw this book, the Whoopie Pie Book. Claire Ptak, who owns Violet Bakery in London at which she serves whoopie pies, (and who apparently is Jamie Oliver’s favourite baker) has written this book solely about whoopie pies.

The traditional whoopie pies are like chocolate muffin tops sandwiching liquid marshmallows. This idea has expanded over the years to incorporate many different flavours and fillings, glazes, drizzling, fruit, caramel, cream, vegetables even.

Like carrots. And pumpkin.

So I had a rare day off (both work AND uni.. woohoo!) so I brought some cool people over to my house to bake. And we made whoopie pies.

I think our first ones were much too big. See, I have this muffin top pan and it’s really cool. And I figured, since whoopie pies were basically two muffin tops with stuff in between, I’d use the muffin top pan.

WAY. TOO. BIG. I shared one of the massive whoopies with someone and we couldn’t finish it on our own.

So we made smaller ones. Carrot and chocolate. They’re pretty darn good if I may say so myself.

And perfect for a baking expedition.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow insides

Adapted from The Whoopie Pie Book

Now, these whoopies I felt were lacking slightly in flavour. If I were you, I’d see if I could substitute my favourite chocolate muffin recipe and just bake them like cookies.

175g plain flour

100g cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp bi carb soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

125g unsalted butter, softened

200g sugar

1 large egg

225ml buttermilk

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180°. Line two trays with baking paper

Sift together first five ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg well. Add buttermilk and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Add in dry ingredients in two batches, mixing just until incorporated.

Spoon tablespoons of mixture onto the baking paper if you want about ten centimetre large whoopies (these are plenty big enough) or teaspoonfuls if you want minis. Make sure you have an even amount of mounds on your baking tray, as you’ll be sandwiching these together.

Bake about 12 minutes for large whoopies or 10 minutes for small. Keep checking them, just in case. Let cool completely before filling with marshmallow fluff.

Apparently there’s a jarred version of this in America. This tastes so good, though, you should make it yourself.

3 egg whites

150g caster sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

Pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ tsp vanilla bean paste

Place all ingredients into a heatproof (stainless steel or Pyrex or ceramic) and put it over a saucepan of boiling water. Whisk continuously by hand until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is frothy. Remove from heat and whip on high speed with an electric hand mixer until it’s white and thick. Use straight away.

Pipe or use a tablespoon to put generous scoops of the marshmallow fluff onto half the chocolate muffin tops. Top with another chocolate disk. Don’t gorge yourself otherwise you might be sick.

Carrot Whoopies with Cream Cheese insides

Adapted from The Whoopie Pie Book

250g plain flour

1 tsp bi carb soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

125g unsalted butter, softened

100g caster sugar

100g brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 carrots, peeled and grated

zest of 1 orange, optional (only because we forgot and it didn’t mean they tasted any less wonderful. I encourage you to try it, though, it’s probably awesome)

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line two trays with baking paper.

Sift first six ingredients together. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Mix in carrot and orange zest, if you’re using it. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

Scoop out tablespoons of mixture or teaspoons if you’d like smaller whoopies. Make sure you’ve got an even amount of mounds of mixture and bake about 12 minutes for large whoopies and 10 minutes for small. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling with cream cheese filling.

300g icing sugar

55g softened unsalted butter

115g softened cream cheese

1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

1 tsp maple syrup, optional

Whip butter until creamy, then whip in cream cheese, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add sifted icing sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. This is where you’d add the maple syrup and vanilla, except I didn’t. I would, however, next time add more cream cheese, less icing sugar and a dash of lemon juice. Just to put it out there.

Scoop onto half the whoopies, top with the rest, and share with your mum for Mother’s Day.

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