Friday, February 4, 2011

banana whoopie pies

I was at a bookstore last week, flipping through numerous cookbooks and came across a book with little macaroon-like cookies pictured against a pretty pink background entitled Whoopie Pies. I had never tried or heard of a whoopie pie before and was immediately excited to try one of these. However, I didn't end up buying the book, I find it difficult to buy books on impulse. I must always read the reviews before hand.

I was so sure these cream-filled sandwiches were a Southern delicacy. I'm not sure why it just sounds like it originated from the South. Somewhere around Texas maybe? Well no, I later learnt that they were originally created by the Amish, a religious group in Pennsylvania. Doesn't make this dessert any less delish!

The classic whoopie pie is made out of two chocolate cake-like cookies with a creamy white filling sandwiched in-between them. That being said, there are many versions and variations of whoopie pies out there. From the sweet Pumpkin with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting to the savory Jalapeno Cornbread with Bacon Filling. I have yet to try these versions.

I settled on Martha Stewart's recipe for Banana Whoopie Pies. I chose not to go with the classic because I felt that I've had enough chocolate for this week. These were easy to make and the filling didn't take more than 10 minutes to whip up. I wasn't sure about the combination of bananas and cream cheese but I loved these! My parents weren't exactly excited for them because they're the simple kind of people, you know, when it comes to dessert, it's either chocolate, vanilla or strawberry and nothing in between.

What I love the most about these were the texture of the "pies". They were so moist and cake-y. Immediately after I made these, I couldn't wait to make more. I think these banana ones would go perfectly well with a Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting or even this Rum Whipped Cream. Because we know, bananas & chocolate/rum is good stuff.

Banana Whoopie Pies
by Martha Stewart

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed banana (from 1 large ripe banana)
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Combine banana and sour cream in another bowl.

Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed, until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beating until incorporated. Add banana mixture in 2 additions, alternating with flour mixture. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe batter into 1 1/4-inch rounds on baking sheets, spacing rounds 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake until edges are golden, about 12 minutes. Slide parchment, with cookies, onto wire racks. Let cool. (Unfilled cookies can be stored for up to 1 day.)

Beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Pipe or spoon 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve immediately.

Source: What Are Whoopie Pies?

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