Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Tax Refund Party: Strawberry Whoopie Pies

I have long believed that any worthwhile gathering should have some sort of whoopie pie (to go with your cupcake options). I've previously made these in traditional whoopie pie and red velvet whoopie pie form. For my tax refund baking bonanza, I was going to have to take things to a whole new level with the power of strawberries. Would I do Rick Moranis proud, or would my ridiculously large cookie fall flat?

Strawberry Whoopie Pies
Cookies Adapted from Mrs. Fields
Previously Seen in My Loving Ode to Honey I Shrunk the Kids
Servings: 8-10 Giant Whoopie Pies
Time: 30 minutes

Strawberry perfection
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup salted butter, softened
3 large eggs, room temp
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2-1 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup strawberries, pureed
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

The ultimate chocolate cookie

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk well.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until a grainy paste forms.
  4. Mix in the vanilla and one egg at a time until fully incorporated.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in several increments and mix at low speed so as not to over-mix.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Scoop ice cream scooper sized amounts on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes. Flatten the scoops slightly to help them bake through yet remain tall. Rotate once halfway through.
  8. Let the bottoms crisp up on the baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool.
  9. Make the filling by creaming the butter then adding the cream cheese until it's light and fluffy. Add the strawberries, salt and almond extract and incorporate well then gradually mix in the powdered sugar.
  10. Assemble the whoopie pies by scooping on absurd amounts of frosting and sandwiching it between two cookies.
  11. Let chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving to maximize awesomeness.
"I find food looks better when there's blurry food behind it"-All of Pinterest
My third attempt at reaching the giant cream filled cookie nirvana seen in Honey I Shrunk the Kids was by far the best yet. The cookies came out much thicker this time thanks to actually laying down ice cream scoops to better replicate the chunks of heaven served up by SusieCakes Bakery in L.A. (I have to make sure to get a hold of these and some Marble Cake the next time I'm visiting my sister). Although the chocolatey cookies were incredible on their own, the unbelievable strawberry filling really made them shine. Robin did a fantastic job pinpointing the perfect amount of strawberry for the filling, and it went surprisingly nicely with the hint of almond extract. The only problem is that you quickly become tempted to pull an oreo and just start eating the filling (for your jaw's sake you should avoid the oreo game of combining the filling of multiple cookies to form one mega cookie). Make sure you chill these first because the cold frosting really brings out the flavor. As mouthwateringly delectable as the fiery red hot red velvet cupcakes were, I think these whoopie pies won the night.
Dr. Omar contemplates the medical ramifications of what he's about to attempt (and the fame he's about to achieve. Sorry ladies, he's married.). In the end, he renounced the medical profession to spend his life eating cookies.
Stay tuned for the grand finale: Bananas Foster Cookies complete with Ice Cream and Bourbon Caramel Sauce.

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