Mini Caramel Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel FillingAre we talking about Valentine’s Day yet? Just in case, let’s begin like this: Anything you pipe out of a pastry bag can be made into a heart shape.

Mini Caramel Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling

Lookey here! A heart. Big whoop? Or Whoooopppiiieee?

Are you afraid of piping something out of a pastry bag? I used to be afraid, too. Couplers were a source of shame and confusion. I figured them out, right before I realized that you don’t usually need them. Maybe you’d like to read this post about how I fill a pastry bag.

Mini Caramel Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling

Also, anything sweet that’s placed into a nice little box & tied up pretty can be for Valentine’s Day. Oh, and if you’re just into straight-up classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies, I’ve got you covered. If you’re into it, and you kinda like that chocolatey-peanutbuttery-caramel thing, you’re gonna l-o-v-e today’s recipe.

Mini Caramel Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling

When you pipe out a dollop of whoopie pie dough like this, you’ll have a stick-up situation.

Mini Caramel Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling

Just press it down with a wet finger (this batch was swirls, ’cause I felt like it).

Mini Caramel Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling

This is a heart. Waiting to be smoothed out.

Mini Caramel Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling

No problemo.

You’ll need to whip up a batch of this Simple Caramel Sauce recipe from Savory Sweet Life (& to add some coarse salt because it’s so surprising and delightful in cooked sugar). Why reinvent the wheel. Alice already did all the process photos for caramel sauce. It’s much like the Butterscotch Sauce we made for Butterscotch Krimpets, but with white sugar instead of brown sugar.

Mini Caramel Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling

Then blend the sauce into some buttercream frosting, and pipe it on. I used a 2D pastry tip to make these a little extra fancy. But only because it was my husband’s 40th birthday yesterday. He’s not so into the frilly, but he has 2 little girls. So, you know.

Mini Caramel Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling

He was loving the taste. And he wasn’t complaining. Snickers in Whoopie Pie form! Huzzah!

Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 8 mins
Total time: 18 mins
Serves: 20
Gluten-free mini chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies with salted caramel filling
Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups (245g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • 2/3 cup (53g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (109g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (128g) smooth no-stir peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons (48g) nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not, nondairy is fine)
  • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • 8 tablespoons (112g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (173g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 recipe Savory Sweet Life {Simple Yet Glorious} Caramel Sauce: http://bit.ly/32rAia, cooled & salted with coarse salt (lightly flaked sea salt, kosher salt, or (best) fleur de sel), to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugars. Whisk to combine, working out the lumps in the brown sugar as best you can.
  3. In a small saucepan, place the butter, shortening, and peanut butter. Place over medium heat, and stir frequently until everything has melted and is smooth (1 to 2 minutes). Remove from the heat, add the milk to the mixture and stir to combine.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly and steadily pour in the nut butter and milk mixture. Once the dry ingredients have absorbed the wet ingredients, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until a bit lighter in color (about 2 minutes). Add the eggs, and mix again to combine well. The batter will be thick, and will begin to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
  5. Onto the prepared baking sheets, either pipe batter in tall rounds about 1 inches in diameter, or spoon about as much batter (a bit less than 1 tablespoon of batter) at least an inch apart. They will spread a bit during baking.
  6. Place one baking sheet at a time into the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, for about 8 minutes, or until a pie regains its shape when you press it gently in the center.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the filling. Place the 8 tablespoons of butter and the confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Lower the mixer speed to low, and drizzle in about 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce. Add more sauce by the tablespoon until the mixture is light brown in color (almost peach-colored) and smells and tastes of caramel. Allow the filling to cool to room temperature (or put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up).
  9. Once the cookies are completely cool, buddy up the cookies that appear the most like one another, add about a tablespoon of filling {either with a pastry bag or with a spoon or knife}, and close like sandwiches. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  10. Refrigerate the rest of the caramel sauce in an airtight container.
Notes

When piping the cookie dough onto the baking sheets, for a round cookie with a dome top, hold the tip about 1/4 inch from the parchment paper, and squeeze the pastry bag. Do not move the tip until you have piped enough filling for one cookie. Then stop pressing the bag, wait a moment, and lift the tip straight up and off. Once you have piped all the cookies, press down the center gently with wet fingers.
For a swirled cookie, circle the tip in a swirl as you press down and end in a similar manner.
For a heart-shaped cookie, see the photo. Trying to put it into words is making my head hurt.
Just for fun, rather than using a plain pastry tip to pipe in the filling, I used a 2D tip for a ribbon-like effect.

Okay, your turn. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Treat?

Love,
Me

P.S. P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of my cookbook, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! I can’t make this the best gluten-free blog without your support.