Whoopie Pies are the next hottest food trend for 2010, according to the National Restaurant Association. And with good reason; their pillowy soft and cakey texture aligns perfectly with a sweet and fluffy filling. How can you go wrong? These little retro treats are popping up all over the place now, and in some cases becoming more popular than cupcakes. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Whoopie Pies takes over the whole cupcake craze altogether.
These fantastic cakes are said to come from Amish farmers wives, who packed them away in their husband’s lunchboxes. I guess the term “Whoopie” came from what these lucky guys said once they opened them…but who knows? One thing I know for sure is, my kids love saying “Whoopie Pie” as much as they love eating them. And they LOVE eating these Whoopie Pies. They are highly addictive and hold up surprisingly well for a few days when stored in an airtight container. Ours are usually gone within a day or two though.
I’m sure many of you have your own versions of the Perfect Whoopie Pie, as there’s many out there. Some are made with chocolate cakes, some with pumpkin or even carrot cake. The filling is generally a soft and creamy frosting, but I have seen recipes that use Marshmallow Fluff or even just a large vegan marshmallow sandwiched between the two cookie cakes. I prefer a simple vanilla scented frosting because I think it adds just the right amount of sweetness to the two cookies.
Whoopie Pies are also traditionally fairly large in size, but I like mine smaller. I use a mini cookie scooper, but you could certainly use a larger sized one to suit your tastes. You may need to add a couple of minutes to the cooking time. One more tip – if you want your frosting a little firmer, put it into the fridge for several minutes to chill before spreading on the cooled cookies. I personally don’t see the need and like my frosting a bit creamier, but it’s all a matter of personal preference.
I think these would be the perfect treat to bring to our kids’ Valentine’s Parties at school, along with some of my Classic Sugar Cutout cookies (in pretty hearts of course!) for the non chocolate lovers. It makes a nice large batch, especially if you use the smaller cookie scooper. Enjoy and Happy Baking!
DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE WHOOPIE PIES
1 c. dairy free margarine (2 sticks)
2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 1/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s)
1 c. dairy free sour cream (I use Tofutti)
1 c. hot water
1 1/2 sticks dairy free margarine
2 3/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. soy or rice milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line three baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the dairy free margarine until smooth. Add the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add applesauce and vanilla and mix thoroughly. In a separate medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder with a wire whisk. Add the flour mixture in thirds with the margarine mixture, alternating with the dairy free sour cream and hot water.
Use a cookie scooper to drop tablespoonfuls of batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes, or when the cookie bounces back slightly when touched in the center. Lightly flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand if you like a slightly less puffed cookie. Cool completely on baking sheets. Meanwhile, prepare filling.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream the dairy free margarine until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and soy milk and mix on medium high for a couple of minutes or until it resembles a creamy frosting. If you’d like your frosting a little firmer, put in fridge for a few minutes.
After cookies have cooled, use a small butter knife to spread a thin layer of frosting on the bottom of one cookie, and top with another cookie to make the Whoopie Pie. Continue with the remainder of the cookies. Store in an airtight container for a few days.