Festive Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

November 4, 2014

If you're as crazy for red velvet as we are you're going to love the one-of-a-kind new book by Deborah Harroun, author of Red Velvet Lover’s Cookbook: Best-Ever Recipes for Everything Red Velvet, with More than 50 Scrumptious Sweet and TreatsHer easy-to-follow scarlet-colored sweets range from breakfast (try her red velvet waffles or crepes!) to dessert (red velvet cheesecake, anyone?). Whip up a beautiful batch of her decadent whoopie pies and be sure to get her Red Velvet "Oreos" recipe here.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Courtesy of Deborah Harroun, author of Red Velvet Lover’s Cookbook and TasteandTellBlog.com and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press

"When I was dating my husband, he claimed that the best whoopie pies ever were sold at a gas station in a town about an hour from where we lived. One day, we decided that I needed to experience these treats. We made the drive, only to find out that they didn’t have any fresh whoopie pies that day. To this day, I still haven’t tried one of those pies, but I’m pretty sure my husband now considers these whoopie pies his favorite.

If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can substitute a zip-top plastic bag. Just snip off a corner of the bag after you’ve filled it."

Makes 18

For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tablespoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons red liquid food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg

For the filling:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 (7-ounce) container marshmallow crème
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl to combine. Stir the food coloring and vanilla into the buttermilk.

Beat the shortening and brown sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixture to the shortening mixture in two or three alternating additions, mixing until combined.

Transfer the dough into a pastry bag. Pipe 36 circles of dough, about 2 inches in diameter, onto the baking sheets, keeping them about 2 inches apart. Smooth down any points of dough with a wet finger. Bake until the center springs back when touched, about 12 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheets.

To make the filling: Beat the butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat to combine. Beat in the marshmallow crème and vanilla extract until smooth. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag. Pipe about 1 tablespoon of filling on the flat side of one cookie. Top with another cookie, flat side down. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.