Soft, sweet, sticky whoopie pies are one of my many guilty pleasures. Until now, I’ve never made whoopie pies, however I do remember the chocolate cake sandwich filled with marshmallow cream. Funny, I don’t know where I got them, maybe a neighborhood bakery or corner store. I haven’t given whoopie pies a second thought since childhood. That is, until the November/December issue of my “WeightWatchers” magazine arrived a couple of days ago.
Browsing through the magazine, I read the articles that inspire me to keep eating healthy food, in appropriate portions and give me ideas for increasing physical activity. This magazine always gives me new tips. Then I saw the whoopie pie recipe on page 70 for Peppermint Whoopie Pies.
That recipe activated my appetite along with my memories of past whoopie pie affairs. Suddenly I was thinking about the song “Making Whoopee”. I could hear Ella Fitzgerald’s sultry voice singing the suggestive lyrics.
“The choir sings, “Here comes the bride”
Another victim is at her side.
He’s lost his reason
‘Cause it’s the season
For making whoopee.”
Could it be this song was written with whoopie pies in mind? Or maybe it’s the other way around, the sticky, sweet treat got its name from the song? I talked with my sister about this question. She thinks there is no doubt, the Whoopie Pie is a euphemism for making love and got its name from the song. She said, “How else would you trap a man into marriage, but making Whoopie Pie?”
Turning back to recipes and baking, as I read this recipe, it triggered my imagination. I had recently purchased lavender extract from Lavender Wind Farm. What if I used that instead of peppermint extract when I made this recipe? I could replace the green food coloring in the filling with purple. Oh, I’m so happy with my version of whoopie pie.
Make whoopie or whoopee (or both) you won’t regret it!
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon lavender extract
1 cup buttermilk
Lavender Marshmallow Filling (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder & salt) together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar together in large mixing bowl on medium speed. Reduce speed to low, mix in egg and lavender extract until well blended.
4. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternating, begin and end with flour and mix just until blended.
5. Drop 12 tablespoons of batter onto baking sheet about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. To test for doneness, gently touch a cookie, if the cooking shows a dent, keep cooking. When the cookie springs back after you touch it, it is done.
6. Remove from oven and slide the parchment paper onto rack and let cool. Repeat this process with the remaining batter to make 48 cakes.
7. Meanwhile make the Lavender Marshmallow Filling (see below for recipe).
8. Using a metal spatula, remove cakes from parchment paper. Spread filling evenly on flat side of 24 cakes. Top with remaining cakes, rounded side up, to create 24 whoopie pies.
Lavender Marshmallow Filling
1 ½ cups corn syrup
4 egg whites, large and at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lavender extract
Purple food coloring gel
1. Pour 1 ½ cups of light corn syrup in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover and cook over high heat for 4 minutes.
2. While the corn syrup is reaching temperature, put egg whites and cream of tartar in a large metal bowl of electric stand mixer. With whisk attachment on medium-high speed, beat until soft peaks form. Turn mixed off.
3. Uncover pan and boil syrup until it reaches 230ºF (thread stage) on candy thermometer, 8-10 minutes. Remove pan from heat. With mixer on low speed, add hot syrup in slow steady stream along side of bowl, beating until blended. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat mixture until bowl is lukewarm to touch 12-14 minutes.
4. Turn mixer off, add powdered sugar, vanilla and lavender extracts, beat until smooth.
5. Turn mixer off, add one drop of food coloring gel. Beat until blended.