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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

I know that when it comes to whoopie pies, peppermint is the "seasonal" thing. And I know I already made a chocolate-peanut-butter-something this month. But these were what I was in the mood for. Don't even pretend you don't want one right now.

I've made a couple of whoopie pie attempts over the years, and a surprising number have been unsuccessful. Just unluckily bad recipes, I guess. But I keep at it because whoopie pies are awesome. Because they are just the best parts of cupcakes, rearranged. Two cupcake tops and a generous helping of frosting, but since it's in the middle we call it filling and make it creamier. They are genius!

So I recently did some serious whoopie pie research, mostly on the astoundingly extensive food blog network. And I came up with what should hopefully be the best recipes for a bunch of different kinds of whoopie pies. Eventually I will be making all of them, but I just had to make these first. Not especially Christmasy, but dang good anyway. Did I say dang good? I meant DIVINE.

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
For the Cookies:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch-process
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Coarse salt, optional
  1. Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter, shortening, and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla. Mix in remaining flour mixture.
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies spring back when lightly touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks using a spatula; let cool completely.
  4. Make filling: Put peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add confectioners' sugar; mix until combined. Raise speed to high, and mix until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, if desired.
  5. Assemble cookies: Spread 1 scant tablespoon filling on the bottom of 1 cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes about 18 to 24 sandwiches

Recipe from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies 2005

Click here for printable recipe

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