CHEW THIS! Chocolate Fudge Whoopie Pies

CHEW THIS!

Chocolate Fudge Whoopie Pies

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, August 7th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

An updated version of the Pennsylvania Amish classic.
Blaise Doubman

My family and I have always been interested in the Amish way of life and some of the foods that have presented themselves with our explorations. At least once a year we will try to venture up north to Shipshewana. It is a beautiful place with so many fun and interesting things to do, depending on what time of the year you visit. There are fresh produce stands, auctions, training classes, markets, flea markets and bakeries on every corner. They have some of the most beautiful handcrafted furniture I have ever seen, and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend that you take a trip.

Did I mention that they have bakeries on almost every corner? I can easily make a trip and buy nothing but baked goods, and have my car packed to the ceiling. There is a place called “The Bread Box Bakery” that have some of the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever put in my mouth. They come with buttercream frosting or maple frosting. I always buy several, I won’t disclose how many because I would be afraid of your reaction, but they do freeze beautifully for those who want to make the trip, but don’t want to gorge themselves. There is also a market that sells some of the best whoopie pies imaginable. That is where this recipe first started. My family and I, due to personal obligations, couldn’t make the trip that year to Shipshewana, so we were going to miss out on bringing home a car load of baked goods. I decided to tackle something I had only made once before; whoopie pies. I failed a few rounds, but eventually ended up with a cake that was almost better than even I had expected. The filling was a little more challenging, but after a few attempts, I got it just right. I think you will find that these are strikingly familiar with some of the whoopie pies you may have had in the past, but slightly updated.

Chocolate Fudge Whoopie Pies

I love what the instant coffee granules do in this recipe. You will not taste the coffee, you will only notice that the chocolate cakes have more of a chocolate taste to them. It is very important that after you fill and prepare these, that they are refrigerated for a few hours. It will not only help improve the stability of the filling, but give the time for the cakes to become even more moist. These are perfect for a bake sale or cake walk.

For the cakes…
2 cups white all-purpose flour
½ cup, plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg

For the filling…
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whole milk, for desired consistency

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper on 2 large baking sheets.

In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, instant coffee granules and salt. In a glass measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and pure vanilla extract.

In a bowl, cream together the softened unsalted butter with the brown sugar. Cream until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the large egg.

Add some of the flour mixture, alternately with the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat well after each addition. Once the batter is smooth, place ¼ cup of the mixture into mounds on the parchment lined baking sheets. Leave about 2-inches space for them to spread.

Place in preheated oven for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, rotate the pan and bake another 6 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow them to cool at room temperature, still on the baking trays.

To make the filling, combine the softened unsalted butter, confectioner’s sugar and pure vanilla extract. Beat together well. The consistency needs to be thick, but spreadable. If too thick, add a little of the whole milk. If too thin, add a little more confectioner’s sugar.

Once the cakes have cooled, take one half of the cake and spread thick with filling. Place another half on top and push down lightly. When all the whoopie pies have been made, place them on a plate in the refrigerator for a few hours. This will help the filling to thicken slightly.

After they have chilled, serve. If any leftovers, wrap individually in plastic wrap.

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