Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baking for Nightshift- Choco-Mint Whoopie Pies

I would say that the new cupcake is really the whoopie pie. I know these are nothing new in the USA but here in little old NZ they are finally starting to make an appearance. For those of us who follow a whole lot of cooking and baking blogs, (it's almost as much an addiction as getting new cookbooks...if not more), whoopie pies are nothing new. I have made them before but not for ages. The whoopie pie is like a cross between a cake and a cookie in texture which is really part of their appeal, as it sthe fact that you can make alsorts of flavour combinations. So last night I got out my "Whoopie Pie' book, which was one of the many books I bought when the UK Amazon site had free postage to NZ. Of course you had to spend 25 quid BUT all that did was give more reasons to buy more books. Luckily (or unluckily), that deal is finally over so I'll have to go back to the good old Book Depository to buy my books where the postage is always free. 

Anyway I digress. I wanted to make some baking treats to take to work and to drop into our Ward Clark who has just had a knee replacement. She loves my baking so I wanted to make something she could have with a cup of tea while she was holed up in a hospital bed. I made these and some biscuits which I will post about next. 

I decided to make plain chocolate whoopie pies but put in a minty-flavoured buttercream. I love chocolate and mint together so I knew this would be a winning combination. I coloured the buttercream a light green and I have to say the colours look really lovely together....and the flavours are also delicious too. I'm pretty sure they will go down a treat at work. If you live in NZ I would also watch out for the onslaught of the whoopie pie too in cafes and bakeries. One thing to buy is a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop so you can get uniform sizes. I also use this for cookies to get them all the same size too. I got mine form Living and Giving and I have also seen them at Stevens if you want to get one.

Choco-Mint Whoopie Pies

1 2/3c flour
2/3c cocoa
1 1/2tsp baking soda
115g butter
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4c milk

Preheat the oven to 180C and line baking trays with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another couple of minutes.

Sift together the flour, soda and cocoa and add half of this mixture to the butter with half of the milk. Mix until incorporated then add the other half of the flour mixture and milk. Drop spoonfuls onto the tray but not too close together as they do spread a bit. Bake about 10 minutes until they spring back when pressed slightly.

Cool on a wire rack after cooling them on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes.

Sandwich together with a mint buttercream but make sure you add the mint extract bit by bit until you get the minty strength you want.

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