Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope that whatever you are doing, you are spending it with someone special, whether it’s your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, or a group of your best friends. David and I have never been ones to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a big way. We usually get each other candy (he gets cinnamon heart candy and I get M&Ms) and a card (the card has to be funny and/or naughty ) and we cook dinner together at home. When it came to deciding what dessert to make for our church group this week, I knew I wanted to make something Valentines-themed. My first thought was cupcakes with pink and red frosting, but I just made cupcakes and I wanted something a little bit different. I then thought of these Red Velvet Whoopie Pies that I saw on Bridget’s blog around Christmas. This was exactly what I wanted to make- it’s red, has cream cheese frosting, and is different from the usual Valentine’s Day treat. And what a great twist on Red Velvet Cake!
Before I started making these, I expected the batter to be thin for some reason. Luckily, it wasn’t, and was fairly easy to scoop. I really wished I had a cookie scoop when I was making these so I could have gotten them all the same size. They baked up quite nicely in 9 minutes and were still soft, but firm enough to hold up as sandwiches. These cookies stayed true to their inspiration and were more cake-like. They were nice and moist, and made even better by the cream cheese frosting. The cream cheese frosting was the exact same recipe as the one my mom and I usually use for cakes, so I knew it would be good. Red Velvet cookies and cream cheese frosting- how can you go wrong?
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Makes 30 sandwiches
2 cups (9.5-10 ounces) unbleached 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
1 ounce (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. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder 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.
To store: Refrigerate in airtight container up to 4 days. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.
Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles, who saw it in the December 2008 issue of Better Homes & Gardens