Whoopie pies were my favorite thing to make and eat when I worked at Baked, the bakery where the magic (okay, my magic) first happened. I liked them better than their (world-famous) cupcakes due to the excellent cake- to- filling ratio. I mean, with whoopies, there is never too little frosting and never too much cake: they are just perfect that way. Also, the whoopie “cookies” themselves are easily assembled in a single bowl and bake in less than 10 minutes. Amazing, I know.
- Heat the oven to 350 F. Have ready two parchment- lined baking sheets.
- To make the whoopies, whisk together the cocoa powder, water, and espresso powder (if using) in a glass liquid measuring cup or small bowl and set aside. Whisk together the brown sugar, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl for 30 seconds; whisk in the egg and then the buttermilk, then sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl, one at a time, vigorously whisking after each. Fold half of the flour into the bowl with a flexible spatula, followed by the cocoa powder mixture, and then the other half of the flour. Fold just until the last streak of flour disappears. Don’t overmix.
- Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter, using a portion scoop or measuring spoons, evenly placing 12 on each prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, rotating and swapping the placement of the sheets at the halfway point, until the pies are dry to the touch and bounce back when lightly pressed. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the pans before filling. Repeat with any remaining batter.
- To make the buttercream, beat together the butter, peppermint extract, and salt on medium- low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup (60 g) at a time, alternating with splashes of the cream, scraping the bowl with a flexible spatula, as needed. Add the food coloring, a drop at a time, until you achieve green nirvana, and beat for an additional 3 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Turn half of the pies upside down, top with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling, and cover with an upturned pie, pressing gently. Place the green sparkling sugar in a shallow bowl and roll the edges of the just- filled pies in the sugar and serve. Keep the whoopies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.
- For Peppermint Whoopie Pies, substitute red food coloring for the green and roll the just- filled pies in crushed candy canes or red starlight mints, rather than green sparkling sugar.
- For Double Chocolate Malted Whoopie Pies, replace the mint green buttercream with a double batch of the Chocolate Malted Cream Cheese Frosting (page 50) and roll the just- filled pies in crushed malted milk balls.
Jessie Sheehan is a baker, food writer and recipe developer. She is the author of The Vintage Baker and the co-author of Icebox Cakes (both published by Chronicle Books). She blogs at jessiesheehanbakes.com, can be found on Instagram at @jessiesheehanbakes, lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn and has a soft spot for chocolate pudding.