Published Thursday, February 14, 2013

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies: Valentine's sandwiches

From Special Reports

closeup@newnan.com

Lauryn Cohen’s passion for baking began when she was a little girl spending countless hours in the kitchen with her grandmother.

As founder of Bella Bakers, Cohen appears on television shows nationwide and is author of “Sweet Gifts.”

Here she shares a Valentine’s Day treat for whoopie pies from scratch and it’s sure to win over many hearts. To save time, try a boxed cake mix for your own version.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Recipe by Lauryn Cohen

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

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1/4 cup cocoa powder

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1 teaspoon baking powder

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1/2 teaspoon baking soda

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1/4 teaspoon salt

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1 stick (8 tablespoons)

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unsalted butter, softened

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1/2 cup vegetable shortening

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1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

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1 cup granulated sugar

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3 eggs

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2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

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2 tablespoons red food coloring

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1 cup buttermilk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and both sugars at medium speed until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each egg is fully incorporated into the butter and sugar mixture. Beat in the vanilla and the red food coloring. Reduce mixer speed to low; add half of the flour mixture, all of the buttermilk, and then the other half of the flour mixture.

Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, drop the batter in even mounds onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 9–10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the whoopie pie comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool for about 5 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature

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12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

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1 pound (4 cups) confectioner’s sugar

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1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Assembly:

Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with the cream cheese frosting. Flip over one of the Red Velvet Whoopie Pies so the bottom is facing up. Starting from the outside, frost the whoopie pie in a circular motion, working your way in, until the entire surface is frosted. Gently press the bottom of another whoopie pie on top, creating a sandwich.

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