Friday, September 17, 2010

Red Velvet Whoopie with Cream Cheese Filling


For the pies:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (can be upped to 1 cup if you want more cocoa flavor)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 ounce (one small bottle) red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk

For the filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups (one 16-ounce box) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the pies: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, and both sugars on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and red food coloring and beat just until blended.

Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and 1/2 cup buttermilk and beat until completely combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop batter onto one of the prepared baking sheet and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

For the filling: In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium, beat until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes.

Assembling the whoopie pies: Spread filling onto the flat side of one cake using a knife or spoon. Top with another cake, flat-side down. Repeat with the rest of the cakes and filling.

Alternatively, you can use a pastry bag with a round or star tip to pipe the filling onto the cakes, which will give you a smoother, neater presentation.

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