Monday, December 14, 2009

Mini Raspberry & White Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Saturday evening after afternoon tea at the Omni William Penn, we baked Holiday Cookie #3: Mini Raspberry & White Chocolate Whoopie Pies. I've been anxious to try my hand at making Whoopie Pies ever since we bought a Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Cookies magazine back in November.

The dough is easy to make: butter, sugar, baking soda, salt, egg, vanilla, flour, and buttermilk. It doesn't need to chill before shaping the cookies. Making dough mounds on the parchment lined cookie sheets was where we first encountered a problem. The recipe says to make mounds with a teaspoon. So I got out a teaspoon measure and plopped a teaspoon sized blob of dough on the parchment. But it looked awfully small. I realize these are MINI whoopie pies, but... I also had some trouble getting the dough out of the teaspoon measure because the dough is very sticky.

After some discussion, I decided to use my cookie dough scoop but to only scoop half a scoop of dough. This resulted in mounds slightly larger than teaspoon sized. And it was easier to get the dough out of the 'real' dough scoop. The main result of this: we only got 29 instead of 36 whoopie pies. So ours are a bit larger than they should be. Not really a huge deal.After baking and cooling, half of the cookies are spread with a layer of raspberry preserves. Often I make Ischl Tartlets for Christmas (cookies from south Germany & parts of Austria; my grandma's family was German and she gave me her family's ischl tartlet recipe; they're sort of like linzer tarts) and I always heat the preserves to make them less lumpy and easier to spread. These don't call for a huge amount of preserves, so we just spooned some in a small bowl, microwaved it for a bit, and stirred until smooth.I spread the preserves on half the cookies (and on myself, too - I can't do anything with preserves without getting myself all sticky!).

While I was scooping dough, baking the cookies, and spreading raspberry preserves, SP made the White Chocolate & Mascarpone filling. He melted some white chocolate with whipping cream, let it cool, and added it to already mixed together mascarpone, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. The filling had to chill for 30 minutes.

I was just finishing with the raspberry preserves when SP got ready to pipe on the filling. We do not have a pastry bag. We do have some decorative tips (not sure how that happened). So he snipped off a corner of a sandwich baggie, plopped in the tip, and spooned in the filling. Then he piped it onto the raspberry halves.After a couple, he discovered that it seemed to work better if he piped onto the non-preserves cookies and then smushed a raspberry half onto a filling half to make the whoopie pie. So he piped and I smashed halves together!It should be noted that half our whoopie pies have a very pretty piped filling and half have not-so-pretty blobby dollops of filling. This is because SP snipped off too large a corner on the baggie and the tip fell through. So he snipped another corner of the same bag. After a while, when the filling got warmer/less firm, it started to squirt out the 'wrong' snipped corner, which made his hands all greasy and messy, which meant he couldn't easily grip/pipe from the correct snipped corner, so he gave up piping and just dolloped filling onto cookies.
He did, however, pipe the wee dollop on top of each whoopie pie. No blobby dollops on top!These are quite tasty! I would say my first whoopie pie baking adventure went well! The cookie part is definitely that spongy/cakey texture, the filling is delicious (and we have a fair amount leftover - we are considering making mini-cupcakes and icing them with this filling). Leftover filling:I might put a bit more raspberry preserves on next time. And I might make them more teaspoon sized than half a cookie dough scoop sized. I am looking forward to trying another variety of whoopie pie the next time we make them.

As usual, we kept some out for our dessert this week and we froze the rest. The recipe said it was OK to freeze the finished whoopie pie (I had been a bit concerned about freezing the preserves and filling).

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