I know, another baking post – how weird! I just wanted to let you know about our very color-appropriate Valentine’s treat – red velvet whoopie pies. My desire to make these stemmed from two places – Craig’s recent facination with red velvet, and my love of cream cheese frosting. These pies, of course, combine those two things. These were pretty easy to make, but still one of the more involved among the limited number of baking projects I’ve attempted. They were definitely worth it. The cream cheese icing was delicious, and the cakes were soft, with a subtle cocoa flavor. My only critique was that they had a very, very slight sour taste (not very noticeable at all – everyone who tried these loved them), which could have been either from the buttermilk or from the amount of red food coloring that’s used. I would probably reduce the amount of food coloring next time since they didn’t need that quite much in order to be very red. Craig went to town on these, and I ate 3 in one sitting myself!
My only other tip is to bake these a little longer than you might otherwise think, so that they will be easy to handle. I was paranoid about burning them on the first batch and took them out when they were still a little too soft, probably. This made them harder to handle for frosting them and storing them. I let the next two batches go a little longer, and they were perfect. I will make these again, and I am excited to have such a great cream cheese frosting recipe for other uses, too.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Source: Bridget’s blog (The Way the Cookie Crumbles), cake recipe originally adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
2 cups (9.5-10 ounces) unbleached flour (I used 2 C. of all-purpose flour)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 egg, preferably room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk, preferably room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened
2 cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I used my Silpat). In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixer at medium speed, add egg and beat until thoroughly combined, then beat in vanilla. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.
3. Spoon (or pipe) batter in 1-inch diameter rounds about ½-inch high on prepared baking sheets, allowing 1 inch between each round.
4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until tops are set. Cool cookies on cookie sheets.
5. To make filling: Add cream cheese and butter to mixer bowl and beat until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with vanilla. Beat until smooth.
6. To fill, dollop (or pipe) cream cheese filling on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down.
A perfect treat for your valentine!