Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

For Valentine’s Day, I decided to make heart-shaped whoopie pies after seeing the recipe on Annie’s Eats. The hardest part of this recipe was trying to pipe all of the heart shapes the same so that the sides would (hopefully) match up.  It’s actually a lot harder than it looks!  I made these pies pretty small (about 1.5 inches across) to make them more of a bite-sized treats, and I think it worked quite well.

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
For the cream filling:
  • 10 ounces cream cheese
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups icing sugar

Directions

1. Cut out a heart shape from an index card for whatever size whoopie pie you want to make. Then trace the hearts onto sheets of baking paper or parchment. Lay the sheets pencil side down so that you don’t get graphite into your dough!

2. Preheat oven to 375° F (approx 190°C).

3. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Once they’re light and fluffy, mix in the egg, followed by the vanilla.

4. Mix in about a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk. Mix then scrape down the bowl. Add another third of the dry ingredients, followed by the rest of the buttermilk, mix then scrape the bowl, then mix in the final third of the dry ingredients. Once everything is incorporated, mix in the red food coloring.

5. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a large round piping tip. Pipe the dough onto your heart stencils, taking care to make them as even as possible. I kept my dough slightly inside my lines to allow for the cookies to flatten out. Take your time with this part, and if you mess up, scrape off the dough, put it back in the bowl, then try again.

6. Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes until set. Allow them to cool on the trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way. Be sure to let these cool COMPLETELY, or else your cream filling will melt and be super messy.

7. Lay out all of your cooled cookies, then match them up as best you can. Set each pair together on the cooling racks, one side facing up, the other down. This will make things a lot easier when assembling the pies.

8. Make the cream cheese filling by creaming the butter and sugar. gradually sift in the icing sugar. Once everything is combined, add the vanilla. Transfer to a second pastry bag with another round piping tip.  I found it easier to use the filling after putting in into the fridge for about 5 minutes before piping.

9. Pipe the cream filling onto one cookie, then top with the other. Don’t press them together too much or your filling will squish out the sides! Once all of the pies are assembled, place the racks in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the cream filling to set before stacking them up – again, to prevent them from getting squished.

10. Once the filling is set, store the pies in an airtight container in the fridge.