During my first foray into the food world at SusieCakes Bakery in Los Angeles, I ate plenty of cupcakes and Snickerdoodle cookies, but the one treat I still drive out of my way for is the bakery’s whoopie pie. The chocolate halves are extremely dense with a wonderful crackle, and the buttercream filling is not overtly sweet. So after years of drooling over the unique take on an old classic, I decided to experiment at home, and of course couldn’t wait to share this long-time-in-the-making edible discovery…
So forget light and cakey, run-of-the-mill whoopie pies with flavorless fluff in the middle. These whoopie pies are dense, fudgy cookie halves with rich, just sweet enough vanilla filling. Or pumpkin cream cheese frosting if you dare to celebrate the current season. No special pan or mixing required.
What I’ve discovered is it’s just as simple to whip up this ultimate brand of pie as the original kind, if not easier. A brownie-style recipe does the trick, and the only extra step is chilling the batter once it’s mixed to allow for easy scooping. You can actually mix the batter a day or two before you bake.
Then scoop into any size round you wish, bake, and fill any way you like. This time of year pumpkin cream cheese filling proves a hit at Halloween and on game days, but for a classically-flavored pie, vanilla buttercream with a little marshmallow fluff whipped in at the end is killer. Why not just bake brownies, you say, and schmear some buttercream on top? Because these will make you say Whoopie! So cliché, I know. But don’t knock ‘em ’till you taste ‘em…
- 3 oz unsalted butter (6 tablespoons)
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, Ghirardelli 60% recommended
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1-2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ – ¾ cup pumpkin purée (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2-4 cups powdered sugar (depending on sweetness level preference)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ cup marshmallow fluff
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together butter, chocolate chips and brown sugar. Let cool for five minutes.
- In a large bowl beat eggs with vanilla. Whisk in chocolate mixture.
- Over a large sheet of parchment paper (fewer dishes to clean), sift together flour, baking soda and salt. In several additions, whisk dry ingredients into batter. Chill for one hour, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Scoop batter using a 1¾-inch parisienne scoop or similar size ice cream scoop (with a release). Space cookies two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking pan. Use hot water to keep scoop clean and batter from building up and preventing release.
- Bake cookies about 10 minutes (adjust baking time for size), just until they begin to rise and loose their sheen.
- Cool completely on pan set over rack, then fill with buttercream. Store chilled, but serve room temperature.
- With a hand mixer (or stand mixer with a paddle), beat cream cheese until smooth, then slowly add one cup powdered sugar. Beat in pumpkin to taste, then add vanilla, salt and heavy cream.
- Beat in more sugar to adjust sweetness level.
- Beat butter with a hand mixer (or stand mixer with a paddle) on medium-high speed until lightened in color, about five minutes.
- Beat in powdered sugar a little at a time, to taste. Beat in vanilla, salt and heavy cream. Beat in marshmallow fluff to taste.