Two cookie posts in a row?!?! I know, I know. ‘Tis the season, right?
I live with two little birds who sometimes make little peep-peeps for me to cook them something special. Yes, Jeff and Casey, you make little peep-peeps.
Last weekend, as the Christmas decorations went up, they wanted Christmas cookies. I told them to pick out the cookies they wanted and I would make them. Because I’m such a nice sister and wife. Sometimes.
They flipped through my cookbooks and made their selections. Jeff wanted snickerdoodles (that’s for another time), and Casey chose the most Christmasy cookie he could find, these red velvet whoopie pies. And if that wasn’t enough…they are stuffed with peppermint cream cheese buttercream.
Overkill or just oozing with holiday spirit? You can decide for yourself.
Now, I’ve never made whoopie pies before. They were much easier to make than I thought, but I’m still looking for the best way to shape the dough on the cookie sheet to make them perfectly round. I suppose I could have squirted it out of a pastry bag. But this wasn’t the time or place for perfect looking cookies.
Sure, I could have carefully piped the buttercream between the cookies, but it wouldn’t have made them taste better.
If I was making these as a gift, maybe I’d break out the big guns and make them look a little prettier. For home noshing, a good slap together does the trick.
The peppermint cream cheese filling is particularly nice. I’ve always been fond of cream cheese frostings, and the peppermint adds an unusual twist. If you wanted to get really fancy, after stuffing these with the filling, you could even roll the edges of the cookie in broken-up candy cane pieces. Now THAT would amp up your Martha Stewart clout, if you’re into that kind of thing.
These quelled the peeps from the guys…for now.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Cream Cheese Filling
From Better Homes and Gardens Food Gifts magazine 2010
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1-ounce bottle red food coloring (2 Tbs.)
Peppermint Cream Cheese Filling
2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3 Tbs. softened butter
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
Alternately add flour and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in red food coloring.
Spoon dough with a rounded teaspoon measure 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. (I used two spoons and pushed the dough out from one to the other, but I’m sure there’s a better method if you want perfectly round cookies.)
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter and peppermint extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. If it’s not spreading consistency, add milk, one teaspoon at a time. (Mine was fine without the milk.)
Spread filling on the bottom half of half of the cookies and top with remaining cookies.
Makes about 40 small whoopie pies. Store in the refrigerator.