Heart Shaped Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's starting to look like Valentine's Day around here and what better way than these heart shaped red velvet whoopie pies to get your family feelin' the love. With these sitting around, it's tough to get my almost two year old to eat her breakfast but it's worth it when she takes a bite, sets it down, hugs my legs and says "Thank you, mama." I'll make these babies everyday for moments like that. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Cake Recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg, preferably room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk, preferably room temperature*
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) red food coloring, use the gel not the liquid

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 sticks butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

* I didn't happen to have buttermilk on hand so you can substitute by making your own with milk and vinegar. Add 1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk, stir and let sit for 5 minutes before using.

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

2. In large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixer at medium speed, add egg and beat until thoroughly combined, then beat in vanilla. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.

3. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe your batter into the hearts. (If you need more guidance making the heart shape, you could cut out hearts and trace onto your parchment but it's pretty easy to do without that) My hearts were about 1.5-2 inches tall and spaced about 2 inches apart. 

If piping these into a heart shape seems too tricky for you, Crate and Barrel has got you covered. They are currently selling this adorable heart shaped pan made just for whoopie pies.

4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, rotating halfway through, until tops are set. Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Make sure to watch them as they do cook pretty quickly.

5. To make filling: In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. 

6. To fill, dollop (or pipe) cream cheese filling on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down. Do your best to match up similar sized and shaped hearts, it just turns out better that way (plus, I'm type A so I have to do crazy things like that)

To store: Refrigerate in airtight container up to 4 days. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. If you happen to be anything like us, these babies will not last for 4 days. 

I think presentation is half of the fun when making holiday desserts. I use cake stands whenever I can, I have a slight obsession with them. It took me about 1 minute to cut a piece of striped wrapping paper to line the cake stand and tie a coordinating piece of ribbon around the base. If that's too much work, make a tower with three of the whoopie ties and tie up with twine. Enjoy! 

Cake recipe originally from Better Homes and Gardens, December 2008 issue and cream cheese frosting by Paul Deen found here (I cut the frosting recipe in half and still had lots extra to dollop on just about anything I could get my hands on)


Stephanie said...

I want one!! Those look great Paige!

Donna said...

Those look so cute. A the Type A presentation is always impeccable. :-)

What are the odds there will be any of these left by the time i get there next Friday?

Carly said...

Adorable (and yummy)! I'll have to try this out for Valentine's Day, thanks for sharing!!

Heather, TJ, Brock, and Jillian said...

Those look ADORABLE and YUMMY! Thanks for sharing! I'm going to share it on my facebook fanpage, Pirates-n-Princesses. You should come check it out! :)

jackie fo said...

These are GORGEOUS and look delish! I am tweeting about these and following your blog now :)

Lili said...

this is sooo lovely!

Belly Feathers said...

These melt my heart! I just love the photo of them wrapped in twine...so precious!


These look amazingly delicious! Yum, thanks for sharing! Featured them on my blog this week! Have a great weekend!

Blessings to you,