Thursday, April 8, 2010

Makin' Whoopie


When my big son was quite small, I brought home a can of Crisco from the grocery store. To my puzzlement he was very excited about it and wanted to open it right away. Then when I did open it, he was quite disappointed. Unlike the enticing picture on the label, it contained no fried chicken at all!

I feel that way about shortening, too. It's deceitful. Going by looks alone, it should be creamy and delicious, but it's just grease. So why is it a major component in so many frostings? Because it makes them look creamy and delicious, although they're actually disgusting. If you're unfortunate enough to have to choke down a piece of "happy special occasion" cake from the grocery store, you'll know that it makes you feel wretched, too.

That's why I've put off making Whoopie Pies for so long. I love the idea of a big cookie, cakey in texture, filled with frosting. Basically, it's a piece of chocolate cake, to go. But if the frosting part is nasty, why bother? And all the recipes that I'd seen called for a lot of shortening in the filling.



But then, I saw a recipe in Martha Stewart's Cookies for Whoopie Pies with peanut butter frosting. Yes! Peanut butter deliciousness, and zero shortening! I dove face first into that one and came up with these delicious beauties. Can you resist?

(If you're a purist and really must have your black and white Whoopie Pie, check out this recipe for amazing, shortening-free Whoopie Pies. They're in my "to bake" queue.)

Peanut butter Whoopie Pies
- adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract


For the filling:

1-1/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Coarse salt


1- Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. with shelves dividing the oven into thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

2- Sift together the flour, cocoas powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until well combined. On low speed, slowly add dry ingredients; mix until combined.

4- Drop batter onto the prepared cookie sheets, 1-1/2 Tbsp at a time, 2-inches apart. Bake until set, about 8 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway though. The cookie is done when it feels soft on the top, but not wet. Cool completely on a wire rack.

5- To make the filling, place the peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low . Add confectioners' sugar and mix until combined. On high speed, mix until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, if desired.

6- To assemble the cookies, spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling on the flat side of 1 cookie. Top with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers in an airtight container up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

23 comments:

Jennifer Jo said...

I was going to title my whoopie pie post "Making Whoopie," but I chickened out at the last minute...'cause it means Other Things In Some Circles. I'm glad to see you went for it, and that you're not the chicken I am. (You might get some interesting hits from questionable google searches...)

I just made a peanut butter frosting this morning...to go on banana cake muffins. But my recipe called for the addition of cream cheese, plus a little more peanut butter. Good stuff, that peanut butter frosting!

kickpleat said...

I've never eaten a whoopie pie, but the idea of shortening in frosting is kinda gross. This frosting looks perfect as I love a pb & chocolate combo.

hobby baker said...

Oh man, I think I may have had a whoopie pie once in my life but these look infinitely more appealing than those plastic wrapped gut bombs! I bet you could change up the nut butter you use as well for variety. That filling looks divine - I love pb frosting/filling. I wonder if macadamia cashew butter would work as well...

CookiePie said...

Oooooh - whoopie pies with peanut butter filling?? Yes yes yes yes. They look fantastic!!!

Bethany Park said...

Oh they look SO wonderful! I don't need another excuse to bake with the peanut butter n chocolate combination, but you just gave me one. Crisco is kinda weird for me, too -- I honestly didn't really think it was edible, except for when you used it to grease the bottom of pans!

Paula from Amen Corners said...

They look delicious and remind me of a chocolate drop cookie my mom used to make only hers had no filling. Second time I've seen this peanut butter frosting and I swear I will get busy making it one day. I want to try it on a double chocolate cake!

Katrina said...

Is there not a better combo? I don't use shortening anymore either, but grew up with all the baking recipes calling for it.

Carol said...

Lynn: I really like the High Five Badge that was designed for you. I would like to print it on stickers to be given to students who do well. Would that be permissible? Thank you for considering this.

Rose&Thorn said...

That's a kind of Whoopie I would be happy to make - peanut butter, yummy! I also had the greasy commercial cake frosting.

grace said...

i'm not averse to using shortening (it's essential in my pie dough), but i SO agree with you on those disgusting grocery store cakes. i'd rather eat dirt i think. maybe.
that said, this filling sounds tremendous and perfect for squishing between two chocolate cookies. well done!

Barbara said...

You are so right about those cakes in the market. The frosting tastes like Crisco. And nothing but crisco. (when my sister was young, she actually ate crisco by the spoonful!! Ugh.)

While I love peanut butter by itself and I do love PB cookies, I never cared for it in combination with chocolate. I know, odd of me. I don't even like Reese's. Your Whoopie Pies look yummy! However, I will go to the site you mentioned for another no-shortening frosting.

Debbie said...

They look delicious. So good homemade. I know exactly what you mean when you mentioned the grocery store cake. They are just sickly sweet...

Bellini Valli said...

I couldn't possibly resist either.

vickys said...

I muccch prefer the sound of these whoppie pies compared to their shortening filled cousins. But I guess shortening is helpful for those who are vegan/dairy intolerant. Thank god for trans fat free ones!

Peanut butter just made these go from yum to super awesome!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

There seems to be a lot of noise over here recently about whoopie pies... Perhaps they're the 'next cupcake'? Still, looks like they're worth trying - particularly this delicious chocolate and peanut butter combo, possibly my favourite of all time!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I hate shortening too! Always been on the lookout for a frosting that doesn't involve it. Thanks. It looks delicious!

eatme_delicious said...

Oh my these look amazing and I'm sure were devoured quickly by all who were near them! I'm in love with the perfect dome shape of the cookies. So gorgeous.

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

Seems like everyone is making whoopie :)! I have yet to try a recipe but peanut butter and chocolate might be the whoopie pie recipe for me! Those pies look darn tasty, great pics!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I've only made whoopies once, but it's been WAY too long since the last time--thanks for the reminder to get my butt in gear and make some whoops! :-)

Julie said...

PB and chocolate together...my fave! I'll take 3 and an ice cold glass of milk please :)

Susan said...

was wondering if these could be frozen and eaten later?

cmm said...

Thanks for the recipe. I live in a place where there are numerous types of whoopie pies but this one matched two tastes that my family likes- peanut butter and chocolate.
The frosting mixed up easily. I made that the day before I baked the cakes. The dough was so fluffy and easy to scoop into little mounds for baking. A very good recipe and I will make them again. I found the cakes to be too strong flavor of the unsweetened chocolate . It over powered the peanut butter. I will decrease the amount of chocolate when I make them next time. I enjoy your blog.

فريزه said...

Thanks for the recipe i will try it