Mint Whoopie Pies

by Beth on February 7, 2011

There’s a movement underway in the state of Maine to anoint the whoopie pie as its official  state dessert. Apparently, there’s concern that whoopie pies are not a heathly food (Really?  It’s dessert.) and that blueberry pie may be a better option.  As part of a high school class that petitioned the Massachusetts legislature to make Boston Cream Pie the state dessert, I’m familiar with the divisive passions that can be ignited by dessert.

But really, what’s not to love in a whoopie pie?  There’s the delicious tender chocolate exterior – the perfect cross between a cookie and cake.  And then there’s the frosting…oh the frosting.  As one who has been known to eat frosting by the spoonful(s), I love the fact that whoopie pies are an excellent “frosting delivery vehicle” and see that as a plus, rather than the negative purported by a Maine state representative.

This is the third whoopie pie recipe to be posted on Domestic Pursuits.  But can you really have too many delicious dessert options?  This particular recipe from Grin and Bake It uses buttermilk in the cookie.  In the past, I have always substituted skim milk and lemon juice, rather than making a special purchase of buttermilk.  Never again!  It imparts a slight tang to the rich cookie and gives it an amazingly tender consistency.  I opted to stick with my favorite whoopie pie filling recipe, as you can’t have a whoopie pie without marshmallow Fluff.  For those of you outside the reaches of Fluff’s distribution, I’m sorry.  But, you can certainly subsitute marshmallow cream.

Looking for a slight twist on an old favorite, I opted to make my frosting minty.  Since I had some leftover candy canes lying around, I crushed several to a fine powder in my food processor and mixed that into the frosting.  Not only did the crushed candy add a hint of mint, it gave the frosting a pretty hue.

Looking for more sweet treats?  Check out Saturday Sweets on Sweet As Sugar Cookies.

Mint Whoopie Pies
Yields approximate 8 whoopie pies (16 cookie rounds)

For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
3. In another small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), stir together buttermilk and vanilla.
4. In a large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. (3 minutes with a stand mixer, 5 minutes with a handheld)
5. Add the egg, beating until well-combined.
6. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches. Start and finish with the flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally.
7. Spoon mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. 8. Bake for 11-13 minutes. When cookies are done, the tops will spring back when pressed lightly. Cook completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting:
5 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
2 cups marshmallow cream, such as Marshmallow Fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-6 candy canes, ground to a powder

1. In a large bowl, beat together butter, shortening, marshmallow and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.
2. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar, beating until smooth. If frosting is too stiff, add water, 1 tsp at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. If frosting is too soft, add small amounts of confectioners sugar until desired consistency is achieved.
3. Add crushed candy cane to the frosting, mixing until just combined.

Assemble the whoopie pies: Spread frosting on the flat side of one cookie and top with another cookie to make a sandwich.

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