Thursday, February 10, 2011

Baked Sunday Mornings: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies (without the red food really they are just chocolate whoopie pies)
One of my daughters spent a year and a half in Taiwan doing volunteer service work and as she readied to return home she asked if there was any special small item we would like her to bring home.  Since Hubby had spent 2 years in Singapore he was excited to request a favorite  Asian food item that he has missed – moon pies, fresh from a Chinese bakery.

Well, the Chinese are not well known for their bakeries or their sweet foods, but one baked item they make well is moon pies...a round cakey, cookie that resembles the color and shape of a full moon which is spread with a creamy filling and topped with a second cookie making a sandwich. If they were chocoholics like us, the color and flavor would not be golden, but dark brown, and we might suggest that they call them Whoopie pies.

Since my grandchildren were coming this afternoon, I thought I would bake chocolate whoopie pies for them to share.  Our Baked Explorations recipe for this week calls for red food color to create Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, but I could not bring myself to add the red.

My First Taste--YUM!
Red Velvet Cake is trendy right now and seems to be a favorite of many.  In fact, we had a house guest today who firmly stated that Red Velvet Cake is her favorite..  I searched the internet to find out if the food color adds anything to the flavor of the cake or to the science of the cake, and learned from many sites that there is no effect on anything except the color, which at this time of year, is lovely for Valentine’s Day festivities.

So I chose to leave it out.

I checked the Chocolate Whoopie Pies recipe from the same book, and it is similar, but the fillings suggested are different.  If I had more time today, I would have made a marshmallow filling and might have tried the peanut butter suggestion.  For today, our filling was vanilla-cream cheese-buttercream and chocolate buttercream.  We rolled the cookies in chopped walnuts and Valentine sprinkles which delighted the kiddies.

The suggested baking time is from 10 to 20 minutes...quite a variation.  I started baking for 15 minutes (I doubled the recipe so I had several trays to experiment with), and that was too long.  The cookies were OK but quite crispy, and today I did not want them to be like Oreos, but more like the Chinese moon pies which are soft and tender.  10 minutes was enough.

Filled with Chocolate or Cream Cheese Fillings and Rolled in Walnuts or Heart Sprinkles
The cookies cool quickly when out of the oven and can be filled and sandwiched in a short time.  Since the kiddies arrived right as I was getting the first batch out of the oven, I did not take the time to make perfect cookies or to fill them carefully for a nice photo...just to keep them ready as they were quickly eaten.

When I make this recipe again...soon...I will take the time to make a marshmallow filling, I will keep the baking time to 10 minutes, I will use a uniform scoop of batter (today I experimented with 3 different whoopie pie molded pans which did not work as well as I would have liked), and I may try additional cookie dough flavors just for fun.

This recipe was easy, yummy (one granddaughter said, “Chocolate cookie + chocolate filling = YUM!), fun and enjoyed by all the 11 people at my house this afternoon.


  1. Your pies still look tasty!

  2. You're early! :) I love chocolate whoopie pies and those are the only kind I've had until I made the red velvet ones the other day. Your pies turned out beautiful!

  3. I love the heart sprinkles you put on these- perfect for Valentine's Day!

  4. They look lovely. The sprinkles make them festive. I have made the marshmallow and they are good, also.

  5. I really like the sprinkles and it sounds like everyone had a blast eating them.

  6. Yeah, the bake time was confusing. Ten minutes is a pretty large range. However, I think that it was written that way in the book because they give you the option of either making large whoopies or mini whoopies. So I'm assuming the 10 min. is for minis, and 20 min. is for larger ones. It looks like you got it down, though, and they look great, with or without red food coloring!

  7. Ur pies look fantastic even without the red in them :-)
    If there was no chocolate in there , they would be redder no :-)
    Well my oven anyway has a mind of its own and i can never follo the time specified for a recipe , i have to go by sight , feel and smell:-)
    I lovee those heart fav!

  8. Mine were somewhat small ... maybe close in size to yours and 10 min was perfect, but maybe larger ones take closer to 20 min. i need some of those cute heart sprinkles. :)

  9. ps i liked the chocolate filling the best ... better than cream cheese.

  10. Yummy! I love your story about the Moon Pies :) I too, get nervous about too much food color. I added less than they called for and have found that the gel color at the cake supply stores works much better than the store-bought food coloring (where you'd have to add SO MUCH more). Once I tried natural red food color, made from beet juice, but it turned my cake a blah purple. I'll stick with the red gel but I think your decision to leave them as just chocolate is a good alternative!

  11. I have always wondered how those whoopie pie pans work out, but yours turned out great regardless... These look delicious, no matter what color they are!

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