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Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies for St. Patrick's Day

I know, some of you are getting tired of green food. Those of you who aren’t, or who may be looking for an alternative to cupcakes to bring to a St. Patrick’s Day party, may be interested in chocolate mint whoopie pies, which don’t have to be green – a few drops of food coloring adds the palest shade of mint. These big, cakey cookies are sandwiched with fluffy, marshmallowy frosting – alternatively, they can be frozen and made into ice cream sandwiches with vanilla or chocolate mint chip ice cream. Either way, it’s a good opportunity to marry chocolate and mint. Bonus: they’re low fat!


These big, cakey cookies remind me of muffin tops. If you have an ice cream scoop with a release lever, it will help you make perfectly uniform cookies that are easy to pair into sandwiches; if not, try to make your mounds of batter fairly uniform, so that they make neat sandwiches that contain their filling.

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

Cookies:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla or mint extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. light or golden corn syrup or honey
2 Tbsp. cup water
1 large egg white
1 tsp. mint extract
a few drops of green food coloring

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for a minute or so, until well combined. It will have the consistency of wet sand. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa and salt. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into 1/2 cup very hot water until dissolved.

With the mixer on low or stirring by hand, add about a third of the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk and half the baking soda mixture, mixing each time just until blended. Repeat with another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the buttermilk and baking soda mixture, and then the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing each time just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. The batter will be quite wet, almost like cake batter. (You want them to be cakey and soft, so that the filling doesn’t squish out the end when you bite into it.)

Drop large, round spoonfuls of batter 2″ apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 12—15 minutes, until the tops no longer appear wet and just spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the filling, in the top of a double boiler or in a clean stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and egg white. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed for about 7 minutes, until it stands in billowy peaks. Remove it from the heat and beat in the mint extract and green food coloring.

When completely cool, spread the bottom of one cookie with filling, then sandwich with a second cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream. Store extras individually wrapped in plastic wrap. Makes 1 dozen pies or 2 dozen cookies.

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