Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Splurge - Makin' Whoopie...Pies, that is!

Last night we went out to dinner with friends to one of our old faithful places, The Boynton, in Worcester. The boys both got baked haddock and Tracy and I both got one of the specials, Brewster Striped Bass with green beans, onions and shaved fennel. Yum. And White Mango Sangria. Really good! I could go for another one right now!

The Boynton does have it's share of fine desserts, but when we dine there we usually forego the dessert menu and skip next door to The Bean Counter, a little coffee shop with some of the best pastry and desserts, and a huge variety of coffees and teas to choose from. Glass cases display everything from wedges of cheesecake, to cupcakes, to single-serving tiramisu or chocolate molten cakes, brownies, cookies, biscotti, and in large glass apothecary jars up on top, an assortment of big chunky cookies - mostly vegan. And as far as Tracy is concerned, the holy grail of vegan desserts, their Vegan Whoopie Pies. She's not vegan (hence the fish dinner) she loves these things!

I much preferred the Double Chocolate Biscotti, or the Vegan Peanut Butter Chip cookies (my choice last night!), as "Vegan Whoopie Pies" didn't sound all that tempting to me. Then one night, Tracy asked "What's in these?" and the girl behind the counter replied, "Well, they're basically just oatmeal cookies with a vegan buttercream-type filling, that's all".

I must have dreamed about them, because today I started dreaming up whoopie-pie type recipes. Tracy has us over for dinner quite a bit and I would love to surprise her next time with homemade vegan whoopie pies, maybe with a little twist. And here's what I ended up making....


The cookie part came out perfect - as a cookie or whoopie pie component - but I think I need to work on the filling. Of course, I de-veganized it this time around, just to see if my theories would work. First, I subbed 1/2 cup mashed banana in place of the eggs I normally would use. Then I wanted maple flavor, but maple syrup tends to lose its flavor when cooked, so I went with maple flavoring, saving a touch of the real stuff for the filling...which is very....shortening-y and sweet. I need to work on that!

But the end result isn't bad at all! So if you're in the mood - even if for only the cookie - give this one a shot!


For the cookies....

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp molasses

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp maple flavoring

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)

1/2 tsp, baking powder

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup walnuts, very finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar. Beat in banana, molasses, vanilla and maple extract.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir in oats.

Add the flour/oat mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the batter (1/3 of the flour/oat mixture, 1/4 cup buttermilk, another 1/3 flour/oats, rest of the buttermilk, rest of the flour/oats) beating well after each addition. Stir in nuts.

Using a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, place cookie dough on greased baking sheets, 2” apart. Press down slightly, if desired (cookies will not spread a whole lot,so they retain their shape)

Bake 10-12 minutes or until tops look dry and cookies are just golden around the edges. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For the filling...

1 cup shortening

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

4 c confectioner’s sugar

pinch salt

2 tbsp (or so) milk

Beat shortening until smooth.

Beat in vanilla and maple syrup, then beat in confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add a little milk as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Sandwich filling between two cooled cookies.

(You can also make smaller cookies - this makes 12 4"-5" cookies or 12 whoopie pies.)


Willoughby said...

Ohhhhhhh, those look good! My family used to have a cottage on the river in northern Michigan where there is a large Amish community. They always had baked goods and vegetables for sale at little stands in their front yards. I never bought them, but they would sell whoopie pies that were the size of small dinner plates. They looked amazing, but I usually opted for fresh bread or blackberry pie as well as a huge bag of vegetables.

Lissaloo said...

YUM! I love that you turned them Vegan. They look wonderful!
The pocket purses are super easy to make. I got jewels and iron on transfers for my girls to decorate theirs :)