The December Daring Bakers’ Challenge had us all cheering – the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavors we chose… What else is there to say but “Whoopie!”
I went with Chef John’s Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with cream cheese filling recipe on All Recipes.com – you’ll find a great little video demonstration there too. I’d never made Whoopie Pies before – being an American invention, we don’t really see much of them Down Under. However, they are very similar to something we call Ginger Kisses – little ginger sponges with sweet vanilla cream in the middle. It was a little tricky getting the batter to the right consistency, but I think I did quite well for a first go. They certainly were delicious! Just one note: I only made half of the filling recipe (didn’t have enough icing sugar) and found that it was actually pretty much enough for the nine Whoopie Pies. However, I’ve left the recipe as is, so readers can decide for themselves.
GINGERBREAD WHOOPIE PIES
Makes about 18 separate cookies (9 big Whoopie Pies)
10 ounces (by weight) all-purpose flour (about 2 cups of sifted flour – see note below*)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 rounded teaspoons ground ginger (3 if you like it spicy)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup boiling water
For the filling (makes extra!):
1 package (8 oz, 225g) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tsp cream or milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Combine flour, white sugar, molasses, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix in vegetable oil and egg until combined. Pour in boiling water and whisk until smooth.
Drop dough in balls onto prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart, using a 1-ounce (30ml) ice cream scoop. Bake in the preheated oven until puffed and golden, about 12 minutes (I found they were ready at 10 minutes). Allow to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring onto a rack to cool completely.
Beat confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter, cream, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer on low until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.
Spread or pipe filling onto the bottom of a cookie; top with another similarly sized cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Chill for 30 minutes.
*It is critical to weigh the flour for this recipe to work as seen in the video. Ten ounces by weight is about 2 cups by volume, but because flour can become quite compressed in the bag or canister, portioning by cup is not very accurate. If you are not going to weigh, only add about a cup and a half of flour, proceed as shown, and if the batter seems too thin after mixing, add more flour, little by little, until you have the thick batter seen in the video (link above).