Sunday, January 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

My friends Kristen and Sig and I sometimes trade treats when we make them.  It's become a kind of tradition that we re-fill the tupperware container with a treat in return when the container is being given back.  A couple weeks ago Kristen made this really delicious peanut butter chocolate cookie bar things.  Chocolate and peanut butter are a classic combination and it's easy to see why.  The flavors just perfectly compliment each other!  It reminded me that I had bookmarked a peanut butter recipe that I'd been meaning to try so that's what I opted to make in return.

Whoopie pies are kind of a cross between a cookie and a cupcake.  They are 2 soft cake-like cookies that delicately sandwich a frosting filling.  You eat them with your hands like a cupcake or ice cream sandwich (or if you really want to, I guess you could use a fork). 

I didn't really want a HUGE batch of cookies so I ended up making a half batch and it was plenty.  I was a tiny bit short on peanut butter so it probably wasn't as peanut-buttery as the recipe intended.  My peanut butter was also reduced sugar so I ended up adding a small amount of extra powdered sugar to make up for it.  Delicious.

What I love most about whoopie pies is that the possibilities and combinations are endless!  If you like this one, also give the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies a try!  That one I personally loved even more than this (but I'm partial to those flavors more so than chocolate and PB :).  That post also has a little more history on why they're supposedly called "whoopie pies" if you're curious.

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
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Yields: About 20 fully assembled whoopie pies


For the pies:
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
  • 1 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Put butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Cream together using an electric mixer high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes, until the mixture is pale and fluffy.. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat until well combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop or a large spoon, scoop rounded 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until set, about 8 minutes.  Let cool completely on wire racks.  Repeat until all the cookie dough is used up.
  5. While cookies are baking and cooling, put peanut butter and butter in a bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar; mix with electric mixer on low until combined. Raise speed to high, and mix until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, if desired.
  6. Spread a rounded tablespoon of filling on the bottom of 1 cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Source: Martha Stewart as seen on Smells Like Home

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