Wednesday, July 29, 2009
To this day when my brother visits my mother's house in Nebraska or when it's his birthday, he tends to expect a batch of chocolate whoopie pies in honor of the occasion. My mother got this recipe from her friend Karen who she's known since she was a little girl. Growing up, we affectionately called them black moons, and I used to tease my mother for keeping such a cherished recipe on a piece of scrap paper. Wouldn't you know it, my version of the recipe is scrawled in red colored pencil on the back on an envelope. Sharing that with you now makes me want to give it the dignity of a legitimate recipe card and leave it just the way it is in equal amounts. Funny that.
The recipe is essentially a whoopie pie, two moist cake-like cookies are sandwiched around a vanilla cream filling. They're great chilled as a refreshing treat or room temperature. This recipe is easy to put together, but makes only 16-18 cookies, so if you're cooking for a crowd, you might need to double the recipe. The original recipe calls for shortening, but I've substituted butter and margarine with successful results, the cookies are just slightly less tender than when made with shortening.
Chocolate Whoopie Pies (aka Black Moons)
1/2 c shortening
1 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c milk
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c shortening
1 c powdered sugar
1 c marshmallow fluff
1/2 c cream cheese, room temperature
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line to cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick foil.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add milk. At this point the mixture will separate and look terrible. Don't worry.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the shortening and milk mixture and mix until combined.
Use two small spoons or a cookie scoop to drop the batter onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until the tops crack slightly but still look a bit damp. You don't want to over bake these cookies! Let cookies cool for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies cool, prepare the filling by creaming the shortening and cream cheese together. Then add the marshmallow fluff. (If you add the fluff in before creaming the shortening and cream cheese, all you'll get is a layer of marshmallow fluff on the bottom of the bowl. If you add them to the mixer in this order, the cream cheese and shortening act as a barrier to the stickiness of the fluff) At this point I like to add the seeds of a vanilla bean, but a little vanilla extract will do in a pinch. Finally, slowly add the powdered sugar until you've reached a nice spreadable consistency.
When the cookies are completely cool, place a spoonful on the bottom of one cookie and top with another. Because of the cream cheese in the frosting, these cookies do best stored in the fridge.