Confession: I don’t care for the name “whoopie pie,” but it’s really the quickest way to say “soft, cake-like cookie sandwich with awesome frosting inside.” And these really are awesome. Incredibly light and soft chocolate “cookies” filled with an I’m-so-tempted-to-eat-this-by-the-spoonful peanut butter cream cheese frosting. One of my labmates requested a pairing of chocolate and peanut butter for group meeting this week, hence the veering from traditional marshmallow cream filling. Mm peanut butter and chocolate… oui, s’il vous plaît!
I have a theory that the ugliest cookies taste the best, probably because they get eaten almost directly out of the oven (after an approximate 6.72 second wait for them to cool down). You couldn’t possibly serve an ugly cookie to other people. The only logical action is to put these cookies out of their misery as quickly as possible. And of course, ugly cookies eaten directly out of the oven only have half the calories, right? Right?!
Lucky for me (and you, if you make these), this recipe produces quite a few ugly cookies if you don’t have a cookie scoop. Which I didn’t. Until one arrived in the mail after making these. (Thanks, Lauren!! Once again, that Williams-Sonoma card is making my life!) These are best the day that you frost them, but often that’s not practical, so you can store the sandwiches in the fridge if you’re not going to eat them within a few hours. (Keep in mind everyone in my building ate them the next day and had nothing but praise for them, so it’s perfectly fine to make these in advance!) Make sure to remove them at least two hours before you plan to serve them, though, so they can soften up a bit.
WHOOPIE PIES WITH PEANUT BUTTER & CREAM CHEESE FILLING
Cookies (from Annie’s Eats)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
4-6 cups powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. In a medium bowl, stir/whisk together the flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs individually, beating well after each one. Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract and beat until just incorporated.
4. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients until just mixed.
5. Using a 1-oz cookie scoop (or a spoon and your talented estimating eyes), drop batter onto the prepared cookies sheets, leaving 2-3 inches between cookies (these spread!). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan for ~5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. When you’ve baked all the cookies and they’re cool, make the filling. Put the cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter in the bowl of the electric stand mixer and beat until smooth and evenly-mixed. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until you’re happy with the consistency. It should be easily spreadable but thick enough to hold its shape between the cookies.
7. Pair cookies up by size and spread a generous amount of filling on one of the sides. Press the pairs together and store in an airtight container (in the refrigerator if you’re not going to eat them within a few hours).
8. Eat. Smile. Repeat.