It’s the Great Whoopie!

OrangeWhoopiePiesbfLOPlease pay no attention to the messy kitchen in the background of the seasonally tinted whoopie pies in the picture above – it was a busy afternoon and things are much better now. Whoopie pies are, of course, normally chocolate brown, but I made these orange for a Hallowe’en party.

Bearing treats in the way of orange velvet whoopie pies filled with chocolate cream cheese frosting, hot dogs simmered in cheap bourbon and good ketchup (sounds kind of wrong, doesn’t it – but it works), and a pitcher or three of butterbeer to wash it all down allowed me to arrive at said party without wearing a costume, so it was all worth the effort.

Note: this recipe is basically the same as for red velvet whoopie pies – but with a different mixture of coloring agents, and a chocolate cream cheese frosting in place of the standard. Still, I think clearly defined options are a good thing, so we’ll do the whole thing from the beginning and pretend it’s something new, shall we?

Good. I thought you’d see it my way.

Whoopie Pies:
•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 tsp baking soda
•1-1/2 tsp baking powder
•2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
•1/2 cup canola oil
•1 tsp white vinegar
•1 bottle yellow food coloring (from the color four pack)
•About 20 drops of red food coloring (from the color four pack)
•1 tbsp vanilla extract – Ya know – I messed up and added a tbsp here instead of
the called for 1/2 tsp the first time I made these, and I think it worked, so I’m still going large with the vanilla
•1-1/2 cup sugar
•2 eggs
•1 cup buttermilk

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
•8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
•3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature – I used my standard salted Grassland butter and didn’t have any problems, you do what you feel is best
•2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
•1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Scharffen Berger)
•1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets – I skipped the grease and used parchment paper. This recipe will yield sixty disks (to make 30 pies); and I’ve found it works best to bake one sheet of twelve at a time, get the next batch ready to go while the first is baking, swap out the sheet in the oven for the next, transfer the baked disks to a cooling rack, and set the next batch to go on the same parchment – no re-greasing necessary. I can also usually get in at least a couple of decent Scrabble moves at each of these swaps, so it’s not hard to work the baking this way; you just have to keep track of your timer.

Sift the flour, baking soda, powder, and cocoa together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, food coloring, and vanilla.

Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs together in a large bowl until they turn pale and double in volume (this could take a while). Add the oil mixture and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in 5 small additions, starting and ending with the flour.

Drop the batter by teaspoons onto the baking sheets, allowing 1-inch between drops, as the cookies will spread. As I wrote above – I would plan on no more than twelve pies per baking sheet.

Bake until the cookies are firm but not crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes (mine averaged nine minutes); remove to a rack and cool.

Once the pies have cooled, make the frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth.

Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla.

Sandwich a heaping tablespoonful of filling between 2 disks to make a pie; repeat.

Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

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