Monday, February 13, 2012

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

The Kitchen Holiday
Happy Valentine's Day! While I don't usually participate in a lot of the "traditions" associated with the holiday, if you know me at all you know I'm not one to pass up an opportunity to make festive baked goods for my friends.  In the midst of these dark winter days, a sugary treat can be just the thing to perk you up.  I decided to try something new for a "Pink & Red" party (read: excuse to drink red punch and wear silly outfits) this weekend, and it was a big hit.
The Kitchen Holiday
These red velvete cupcakes whoopie pies were the perfect combination of cakey-frosting goodness.  Think cupcake, but better, and less messy to eat (does anyone else have a horrible time eating cupcakes without making a mess??) 

While making these delectable desserts, I learned some interesting things about red velvet:
  1. Red velvet is just chocolate with red food coloring. Am I the only one who has been missing this all these years?? Does the red cause some flavorful/optical illusion that detracts from the chocolate?
  2. It requires a LOT of red food coloring to achieve the color.  As in, a whole bottle. This actually shocked and bothered me a bit since I try to avoid artificial coloring, but I guess it's worth it for a special occasion.
If you're looking for a sweet treat to make on this special day, these are a winner!  They'll be sure to look like this in no time -

The Kitchen Holiday
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Gourmet Live, January 2011
Yield: 26 pies

Cake ingredients
2 cups flour
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk (or sourmilk*)
1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring (2 tablespoons)

Filling ingredients
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners' sugar

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, oil, and sugar with an electric mixer until light.  Beat in the egg, vanilla, and vinegar and beat for 2-3 minutes longer.  Alternating between each, mix in the flour and milk in batches, starting and ending with the flour. Finally, mix in the food coloring and mix well.

Drop the cake batter onto a greased cookie sheet in 1 tablespoon measurements, keeping them as round as possible.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from cookie sheet and let cool completely. 

While the cakes are baking, make the filling.  Beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, salt, and confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Once cakes are completely cooled, spread filling evenly on one round and place a second on top to form a sandwich.

* If you don't have buttermilk (and I never do), you can substitute sourmilk by mixing 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice with enough milk to yield the desired measurement.  Let it sit for 2-3 minutes before using.

3 comments:

Bec said...

Thanks for the buttermilk tip! The only size container my grocery store sells is huge and I never know what to do with the rest of it!

Ruth said...

Um, YUM! I do remember the point though where I realized red velvet was just red chocolate. Strange? I agree. I thought maybe I was missing something....

Missing YOU, already!

Bonnie said...

You have reignited my urge to eat red velvet. It's unbearable. I lovelovelove red velvet anything.

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