Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Malted Buttercream Filling

Now that I've become familiar with malted milk powder as an ingredient in my baking (thanks to the Baked cookbooks!), I decided it was time to test it out in some whoopie pies. Why not, right? So I toyed with several different ideas, such as whether or not I should put the malt flavor into just the cookie shells themselves, the filling, or both. Finally, I settled on doing a basic chocolate whoopie pie shell with malted buttercream filling.

I can't really explain the deliciousness of these cookies to you. I think you just need to try it for yourself! The chocolate cookie part is pure comfort food, all soft and pillowy with a dark, not too sweet chocolate taste. Then, the malted buttercream offsets the dark chocolate with its sweet, unique flavor and perfect smoothness. It was love at first bite! The crowning touch was rolling the sides of the pies in crushed Whoppers candy. Heaven! I know it has been a while since I've made whoopie pies, but I plan on turning that around. I'm gonna be making them way more often from here on out. It's a tragedy, I tell ya, that I almost forgot just how great they could be!

Chocolate Whoopie Pies
adapted from Whoopie Pies
makes 48 cookies (24 sandwich cookies)

Nonstick cooking spray
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
4 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Malted Buttercream Filling (see below)
Whoppers candy, crushed (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray a whoopie pie pan with nonstick cooking spray). In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and shortening until uniform and creamy. Add in the brown sugar and beat well for another 3 minutes on medium, until everything is well-incorporated and the mixture is fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat for another 2 minutes.

3. To the mixer, add half the flour mixture and half the milk; beat on low until incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour and remaining milk and beat until combined.

4. Using a tablespoon (or a small ice cream or cookie scoop), drop batter onto cookie sheet, spacing drops two inches apart. Bake each sheet for about 10 minutes, rotating them halfway through. They are done when each pie springs back when touched lightly in the center. Cool the pies on baking sheets for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Fill whoopie pies with Malted Buttercream Filling; recipe is below. Roll the sides of the filled pies in crushed Whoppers candy, if desired.

Malted Buttercream Filling
adapted from Whoopie Pies
makes enough to fill 24 small whoopie pies

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. malted milk powder (or you can use Ovaltine)

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk, vanilla, and malted milk powder. Continue to beat on medium speed for another 3-4 minutes. Use to fill chocolate whoopie pie shells; yum!

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