Dear Valentine, please be mine.
If you will be mine, I will make you Red Velvet Whoopie Pies. I will find your heart.
I have heard that your stomach is the fastest way to get there.
I will be guided in my search for your heart by Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling. With real strawberries.
Real strawberries that have been freeze dried, and then ground, are very intelligent when it comes to finding hearts.
Here’s how I will make these whoopie pies, so you know how serious I am. The batter will be thick but nearly pourable.
I will pipe it in 1 1/2 inch rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart as they will spread when baking.
But they won’t spread too much. They will be done when the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center. They’ll cool while I make the filling.
To make the filling. I will cream both butter and cream cheese until fluffy, and then add the confectioner’s sugar and ground freeze-dried strawberries (mine will come from Trader Joe’s).
The filling will be very thick. Too thick for piping.
I’ll thin it with a few tablespoons of heavy cream.
Then I will pipe it with a medium star tip on the underside of half of the cooled cookies.
Then I will match up cookies to make the pies. I will play a matching game for you. I will. Here are all the details.
|Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling|
- 1 3/4 cups (245g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
- Scant 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- 5 tablespoons (25g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
- 1 1/2 cups milk (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not)
- Red gel food coloring, to desired hue
- 1.2 ounces (34g) unsweetened freeze dried strawberries
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (288g) confectioner’s sugar
- 2 to 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the dry ingredients, and add the vinegar, 4 tablespoons melted and cooled butter, shortening, eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, milk and food coloring. If you want the pies to be very red, the batter will need to be nearly electric red. I went with a more subdued red. Mix to combine well after each addition. The batter should be thick, but slowly pourable.
- Place some of the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (the kind with just a wide, round opening). Pipe the dough into rounds about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and about 1 inch apart (they will spread a bit during baking). Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before peeling back the parchment paper and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cookies are baking and then cooling, make the filling. Place the freeze dried strawberries in a blender or food processor, and process until it turns into finely ground fruit dust. Set it aside.
- Place the cream cheese and 4 ounces room temperature butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar and fruit dust, and beat until the sugar and fruit have been absorbed by the wet ingredients. The mixture will be thick and not very smooth (see photo). With the mixer on low speed, add 2 tablespoons cream and beat until well combined. Add more cream by the tablespoon if necessary to create a smooth and somewhat shiny mixture. The filling, however, should still be thick.
- Line up the cooled cookies on parchment paper, and turn half of them over. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag, and pipe filling onto the underside of the overturned cookies. Top the filling of each with a cookie that is right-side up and roughly the same size as the one with filling. Chill until the filling is firm. Serve filled.
- Leftovers should be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and served within a day or so. They don’t keep as well as you might like, but will be okay if frozen rather than being refrigerated (the fridge will dry them out after about a day).
So what do you say, Valentine? Will you be mine?
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.