Baked Sunday Mornings: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies


It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and we’re looking forward to a week of springlike weather. We’re headed to Harry’s class friend’s birthday party in a bit and have a fairly lazy Sunday ahead of us. I have lots of projects from which to choose (some tedious, like folding laundry, some creative, like sewing and knitting projects) and I don’t feel overwhelmed. I’ve seen some pretty awesome movement on the dissertation front since Wednesday and things are looking up! We had a really lovely dinner at two different families’ houses in the past week and all is well. I am feeling the love from all corners. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and what better way to celebrate amor than with red velvet whoopie pies?

Whoopies!

Now then, I am a fan of whoopie pies. And I am a fan of red velvet cake. Both are sort of a pain in the ass to make, but soooo worth the effort. One annoying thing about making red velvet anything is that it always takes a full bottle of red food coloring (I’m talking about the ones that come in the box of four primary colors). And, of course, the grocery store never has the single, larger bottle of red food coloring in stock. Yes, they have plenty of green and black on hand, but never red. Maybe that’s a side effect of living in the south. Or it being so close to Valentine’s Day. At any rate, I now have four boxes of food coloring in my pantry, all minus the red. Next time, I’m making blue velvet cake.

True to form, these are a pain in the ass to make, but they are definitely delicious. And there’s something so gratifying about completing a fussy project, you know? And it’s not that it’s hard to make whoopie pies, it’s just that it’s a drawn-out process, especially when you’re like me and forever woefully underprepared. (Special trip to the store for food coloring? Check. Special trip for shortening after polling friends/neighbors/debating using mayonnaise or butter instead? Check. Out of parchment paper? Check. Only one silpat, so that I could only bake off the cookies one dozen at a time? Check.) Which means that maybe *I’m* the reason certain recipes are more complicated than they need to be!

ANYWAY. Using an ice cream scoop has changed my life. No more scraping uneven blobs of batter onto the cookie sheet, kissing goodbye any hopes of uniformity! No more messy fingers! No more fussing with pastry bags when it’s time to put the filling on! No more lopsided whoopie pies! If you make cookies or whoopie pies regularly, you MUST get an ice cream scoop. Srsly. And while the recipe calls for these to be finished with crushed walnuts, I did not because I do not like walnuts.

The most fun part of making these was the assembly, because Harry kept getting more and more excited. He shadowed me around the kitchen as I scooped the filling, smooshed the sandwiches, and arranged them on the platter for photographing. He was so into it, he wanted to take a few photos of them himself! Here’s one of them:

...with a bit of a cropping assist from Mom

This cat could not WAIT to try one of the sandwiches, even though it was only 8am or so. First, I let him pose for a photograph:

Still life with whoopies

…then I let him inhale his very own whoopie pie (no sharing, please!). I think I know why he was vibrating at breakfast. And not the least bit interested in his gingerbread pancakes!

Oh, I ate half of one of these (Weight Watchers, remember?) and they were quite tasty. I might eat the other half tomorrow morning with my coffee, as I suspect that this is one of those pastries that tastes EVEN BETTER after the flavors have had a chance to mingle with one another. But, freshly assembled, I could really taste the cocoa (I used the fancy Valhrona kind), which was balanced by the sweet WHAP of the cream cheese filling. Delightful.

This recipe, for me, yielded 16 whoopies (I used a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop). The remaining 14 will accompany my husband to the office tomorrow.

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3 Comments

  1. Abby

     /  February 13, 2011

    Wait, do all 14 have to go to dh’s work? I know some people on Madison Avenue who would love some.
    I don’t like walnuts either.

    Reply
  2. What a great post! Love the part about Harry…my grandkids were at my house for whoopie pie time and they enjoyed “helping” too. This was a fun and yummy treat.

    Reply
  3. I think Blue Velvet cake is an awesome idea! And your whoopie pies look delectable. Glad to hear things are looking up on the dissertation front!

    Reply

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