Saturday, November 2, 2013

whoopie pies with my mom's icing

So I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I am NOT a good baker, but when I get something into my head, I need to do it, and dangnabit, I wanted a whoopie pie the other day and you would not BELIEVE how difficult it is to find a whoopie pie in Savannah. Granted, Goose Feathers Cafe is in downtown Savannah with whoopie pies, but not like the ones I grew up eating. I was on a mission.
Yet again, the dogs were unimpressed with my baking prowess.
I actually start the recipe by making a rue for the icing. Yes, a rue for the icing. Trust me on this one... it's my Mom's icing and it's amazing. Actually, it may be my Grandmother's icing... in either case, I feel like it's a family secret. This is milk and flour that's going to become a SUPER thick paste.
Told you. This needs to be cold. I don't mean room temperature, I don't mean cooled... cold. I have made the mistake of trying to make this icing in the past by rushing it through the "cold" process, and it doesn't work. Pop the whole thing in the fridge and forget about it for a while. By the time the whoopie pies are cold later, it should be perfect.
The whoopie pies themselves require some work, although not too much. First we can see some sifted flour, baking soda and salt.
And of course, these are chocolate whoopies pies so some cocoa powder is needed as well. Sift this in.
So to start the wet ingredients, you'll want to cream together the room temperature butter, shortening and brown sugar. No white sugar, please.
Then it's time for the egg and the vanilla.
So we are going to do this in stages. Dry, wet, dry, wet. Step one is to pour in about half of the dry sifted ingredients.
And now for half of the milk... mix this in.
Okay, so back to the dry ingredients.
And finally, the rest of the milk.
We are in pretty good shape at the point.
These are going to spread out pretty good, so you are warned! Make sure they aren't too close together- about 2 inches apart is best.
And they still touch. Whatever. I'm not in it for the pretty- I just wanna eat! Let these guys cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then on a wire rack until completely cooled.
So that'll give you time to finish your icing. Butter and regular sugar creamed together until super light and fluffy.
SUPER light and fluffy.
Now, add in that gelatinous glob of flour and milk and beat it again to an inch of it's life.
Last, but not least, add in the vanilla and plenty of it.
You've got yourself a real winner, there!
Let me tell you a story- I hate cleaning pastry bags. I always use a plastic ziptop bag so I can just throw it away later so I don't have to use a piping bag and then clean it. True story.
See? Just snip of that end and it works just as well. Well, maybe not just as well, but whatev.
Add a generous amount of icing, leaving a little gap to the edge of the whoopie pie and you are good to go!
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Yet another goodie from Cookies and Cups.
1 2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
3 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl, cream together butter, shortening and brown sugar. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 of the sifted dry ingredients and combine, then add in 1/2 cup of the milk. Repeat until combined. Spoon a rounded teaspoon of batter onto the parchment paper lined sheet pans at least 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until set. Allow to dry on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Add icing between 2 pies, leaving a small gap around edges. Enjoy!

My Mom's Icing
1 cup milk
5 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar

In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat. Whisk in flour and keep whisking until a thick paste is formed. Placed entire saucepan in fridge to cool completely. Meanwhile, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. When paste is completely cold, add it to the creamed butter and sugar and beat until smooth and there are no lumps. Add in vanilla and beat until combined. Enjoy!