Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Whoopie Pies & Sweets for my Sweet (chocolate peanut butter, of course)!
As I've mentioned many times, I love to bake for others. In fact, nothing I make is for myself, it's always to share! I try to keep busy & attend events almost every weekend, so my baking is always for others & I like it that way. One such event was a board game night a few weeks back, of course I volunteered to make treats. A bit burnt out on cupcakes (gasp!), I scoured the internet for a fun treat to bring that was more exciting than cookies, but still individual servings. I happened upon the perfect item, Kittee's Chocolate Peanut Butter filled Whoopie Pies! I can't help but tinker with recipes, so my changes are noted with a star & listed as optional.
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
dash of salt
1 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup Spectrum Brand non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup applesauce mixed with a 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup warm water
*1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder (optional)
*2 teaspoons semi-sweet chocolate, melted & cooled (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt; set aside. (I like to sift my dry ingredients together, but it's your call!)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, shortening, and applesauce/baking powder mixture & beat for about 2 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients, milk & water into the wet mixture & beat at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add vanilla & melted chocolate and beat again until mixture is thoroughly blended, but do not over beat, it will be moderately thick.
Using a small ice cream scoop or large spoon, drop by rounded tablespoons onto a Silpat or un-greased non-stick cookie sheet leaving room for the pies to spread. Smooth out the tops of your scoops, as this will affect the aesthetic of your pies.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly pressed or a toothpick comes out clean. These are very cake like in texture, be careful not to over bake them.
Let them cool for a few minutes, then remove them from the cookie sheet to cool on wire racks. They need to cool completely before the peanut butter filling can be spread on.
In a large bowl, beat together Earth Balance and peanut butter.
Add the confectioners' sugar and slowly add the soy milk, beating with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add more milk if needed, then beat at high speed until light and fluffy.
Assemble your Whoopie Pies!
Take one cookie & spread a layer of peanut butter filling in the center, not quite touching the ends, apply another cookie on top & you're golden! woo.
These were delicious & people instantly requested I make them again. The recipe I posted above is halved from the original since it yielded around 35 whoopie pies & I felt like I was assembling them for days! I added the instant espresso powder & melted chocolate to add depth & flavor, as I tend to find cocoa based recipes a bit bland. I noticed the photos of Kittee's pies almost look like french macarons! Mine were much flatter & spread more than I expected, but we're still lovely little fluffy little cakes of joy. Shortly after I made these, the hot ladies at Bake & Destroy Flickr pool started discussing & baking their own versions. Great minds think alike! By the way, Kittee's recipe site & Kittee's blog contain a wealth of information, do yourself a favor & check them out!
Awhile back Ryan & I celebrated another anniversary, 9 years of dating. While most people stop celebrating dating anniversaries once they're married, we thought 9 years was something worth a mention & used it as an excuse to get out of town for a weekend. On a photo shoot, someone had mentioned their friend gave her husband a gift called "Dessert of the Month" & every month he could pick any dessert he wanted & she would make it for him, no questions asked. For our dating anniversary, I decided Ryan should be given the gift of a dessert of his choice every month. The man loves anything peanut butter & chocolate, so his first choice was hardly a shock, Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches. These were inspired by Celine, especially since I was given similar ice cream sandwich molds shortly after her post.
The cookies are straight from Celine's post with a bit of espresso powder added. For the filling, I used a previous recipe I've mentioned for Peanut Butter Gelato, but upped the peanut butter content, threw in a smidgen of agave nectar, & used half almond milk to make sure the ice cream would be nutty & rich! The ice cream was wonderful & we were happy to have some leftover from the sandwiches to cover in Ricemallow & melted chocolate! There was also spaces left between the animal cookie cutter shapes, so I made mini chocolate heart cookies to send with Ryan for work snacking. Ice cream sandwiches are fun to make & went over VERY well, I recommend making these, they keep well for a good amount of time in the freezer, individually wrapped. By the way, are animal shaped foods still vegan? hehe.
I'm pretty sure he's going to ask for something chocolate-peanut butter every month. While the rules stated I wouldn't object to his choices, I must admit I've tried to influence him by sending links & begging him not to request plain peanut butter cookies. I was hoping he'd GO BIG, but that doesn't look to be the case, as he wants peanut butter cups this month. *sigh*