12/21/14 ChefElla's Gingerbread Peppermint Whoopie Pies

The holidays are the best time for sweets.  During the year we seem to eat the same sweets, birthday cakes, apple pies, chocolate chip cookies, and we top it all with vanilla ice cream, but for some reason the holidays are different.  It is a time of year when everyone takes a little more time and care, make something special, and then share it with everyone else.  Cookie exchanges, gift baskets, and grandmothers visiting all mean special treats.  These desserts are not the same old desserts you eat during the year.  The holidays bring hand decorated sugar cookies, yule logs, raspberry tortes, tea cakes, peppermint bark, candy canes, bread puddings, and do not forget about gingerbread men.  This year I want to share two of my favorite flavors with you in one special dessert, gingerbread and peppermint.  I wanted a way to put these two flavors together into an easy to make and easy to eat dessert and the whoopie pie is just the thing.

Traditionally whoopie pies are handheld chocolate cakes with a sweet creamy filling.  While you may not be familiar with a traditional whoopie pie, once you have one of my gingerbread peppermint whoopie pies you will want to share them with everyone.

So, enjoy the holidays, and remember to leave room for dessert.

For this recipe you will need to use the oven and a mixer.  If you are not allowed to use the oven or mixer by yourself you can have a grown up help.

1. Wash your hands.

2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a stand or hand mixer, a large bowl, 2 cookie sheets, parchment paper, and a pancake turner.

ChefElla's Gingerbread Peppermint Whoopie Pie (This recipe will make 12 Lg or 24 Sm Pies)

Ingredients:

1 ea.          Stick of Butter, Room Temperature (8 Tbl)

1 Cup        Brown Sugar

2 ea.         Eggs

½ Cup       Milk, or Milk Alternative (Almond Milk, Soy Milk, etc.)

½ Cup       Dark Molasses

2 tsp          Vanilla

Dry Ingredients

1 ½ Cups    All Purpose Flour

½ tsp          Baking Soda

2 tsp           Baking Powder

1 ½ tsp       Cinnamon, Ground

½ tsp          Cloves, Ground

½ tsp          Nutmeg, Ground

½ tsp           Kosher Salt

¼ tsp           Allspice, Ground

 Peppermint Icing

1 ea.             Stick of Butter, Room Temperature (8 Tbl)

2 ½ Cups.    Powdered Sugar

¼ Cup          Milk, or Milk Alternative (Almond Milk, Soy Milk, etc.)

1 tsp              Vanilla

4 oz              Peppermint Candy, Crushed

-Put candies into a heavy duty food storage bag.  With the back of a spoon,      rolling pin, or kitchen mallet lightly strike the candies, breaking them into a powder.

3.    Preheat oven to 350F.

4.    Add butter and brown sugar to your mixing bowl.  Mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment until the brown sugar and butter are mixed well.

5.    Add eggs and mix until the eggs are blended into the butter and sugar.

6.    Add milk, molasses, and vanilla to the bowl and mix until all of the ingredients are blended together.

7.    In a large bowl mix all of your dry ingredients.

8.    Turn mixer on low and add flour slowly until the flour is just incorporated into the wet ingredients.

9.    Remove mixing bowl from the mixing stand and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

10.    Put mixing bowl back on the mixing stand and mix again on low for 20-30 seconds to make sure all of the ingredients are blended.

11.    Put parchment paper on your cookie sheet.  For large pies drop 2 tablespoons of mix onto the wax paper.  Using the back of the spoon spread the batter into a circle shape.  For small pies drop 1 tablespoon of batter on the wax paper and shape with your spoon.  If you have a small ice cream scoop it will work well for this task.

12.Bake gingerbread mix for 10 minutes.  Let cakes cool for 10 minutes after baking to set.  Remove cakes from the pan with a pancake turner and put on a cooling rack or on parchment paper on the counter, flat side down, until you are ready to assemble.  If you have two cookie sheets you can bake one pan while the other is cooling.

13.Repeat this process until all of the batter is gone and the cakes are baked.

14.To make the icing, wash and dry your mixing bowl and paddle.  Add butter to your bowl.  If the butter is a little cold it is ok.  Do not warm on the stove or in the microwave.

15.Beat butter with a paddle for 2-3 minutes or until butter is airy and turning a white color.

16.Add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time.  Start on low and increase speed as the sugar mixes in.  When the sugar is incorporated into the butter add a little of the milk.  Continue to alternate milk and sugar, slow the mixer as you add the sugar and speed up as the sugar incorporates, until all of the milk and sugar are in the icing.

17.Turn the mixer to low and add the vanilla and peppermint crumbs.

18.Remove the mixing bowl from the mixing stand.

19.Take one gingerbread cake.  Spread icing on the flat side of the cake.  Top the cake with another gingerbread cake to make your own gingerbread peppermint whoopie pie.

20.If you like a lot of icing you may want to double the icing recipe.

21.If you are storing your gingerbread whoopie pies for later make sure you separate them with small pieces of parchment paper or the pies will stick together.

Serve your Gingerbread Peppermint Whoopie Pies by themselves or with ice cream for a really great dessert. 

Enjoy

-ChefElla