Sunday, February 27, 2011

Baking for Nightshift- Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Tonight is my last night duty thank god! I often sleep terribly on my second sleep day and today was no exception. Within the next 2 weeks I am going onto WW to get rid of those pesky 6-7 kg that seem to have crept on over the last year or so and will obviously not be baking as much as I have had. Of course I will still take baking into work but for the first couple of weeks I'll have to try to refrain so I can get into the swing on the WW-way. As it is my birthday and a big family wedding in the next couple of weeks I may even have to wait until afterwards as once I start I don't want to fall off the wagon too soon into it. Anyway I digress but the point of that was, I'm trying to make the most of it now to bake things that I have really been wanting to try and this recipe is one of them.

Whoopie Pies are an American thing. They seem to be the 'new-cupcake' and are increasing in popularity outside of the USA- where they are already popular. They are a cross between a cake and a cookie with icing sandwiched in between. In American you can get something called Marshmallow Fluff and I have seen this used as a icing ingredient in quite a few recipes. Doesn't that sound fabulous!!! I really wish we could get it here along with those packets of Toffee Bits, Butterscotch bits, Cinnamon Chips and so on. I may have to see if I can bring some in from America through Amazon..... Anyway the whoopie pie is though to have been originated from the Amish times when the women would pack them into their husbands lunchboxes when they were working out in the field. Apparently the men upon seeing these treats would call out 'whoopie!' and so the name came about. I'm sure there are many other stories out there but I like this one.

If anyone has ever eaten a red velvet cake you will know that it has a slight chocolate flavour and is tender and made even more delicious with the obligatory cream cheese frosting. After looking through one of my favourite blogs the other night I came upon this recipe. It is easy and fast to whip up. I have a very cool little scooper thing that I got from Living and Giving bought for this purpose originally. It's like a little ice cream scoop with a spring thing on it to release the mix. It makes the pies all the same size as you can see in these photos...


Of course you don't need one but I really like mine BUT I am a real kitchen gadget kind of girl (as you can see if you were to look through my kitchen cupboards). Anyway these whoopie pies aren't as tender as the Red Velvet cake but nor should they be given that they are a cross between a cake and a cookie. I think the girls will really like them tonight.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

2 c flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (I omit as I use salted butter)
115 gm butter, softened
1 c packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk
2 Tbsp red food colouring (yes you read this right)

Oven to 170 C. Line baking trays with baking paper.

In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, soda and salt.

Beat butter for 30 sec. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Add in the flour mix and the buttermilk alternately, mixing until just combined after each addition. Add the food colouring.

Drop spoonfuls onto the tray and bake 9-11 mins until the tops are set. Cool on the trays for 5 mins then cool on a rack. Sandwich together with your favourite cream cheese icing.

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