Halloween Whoopie Pies:
1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (120 ml) lukewarm strong coffee or 1/2 cup (120 ml) lukewarm water
1/4 cup (55 grams) vegetable shortening
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) (55 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) light corn syrup
orange food coloring
Halloween Whoopie Pies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (can also use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg beating well. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a small measuring cup, mix the buttermilk and coffee (or water). With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk/coffee mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Drop heaping tablespoons (can also use a small ice cream scoop) of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. With moistened fingers or with the back of a spoon, smooth the tops of the cookies.
Bake for about 9 - 10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies, when lightly pressed, spring back. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Filling: Beat the shortening and butter until soft and creamy. With the mixer on its lowest speed, gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar. Increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then, with the mixer on low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and slowly drizzle in the corn syrup. Continue to beat until the filling looks like soft mayonnaise. Add orange food coloring and beat until the food coloring is completely incorporated.
To Assemble: Take one cookie and spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling on the flat side of the cookie. Top with another cookie. Place some of the filling in a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip and pipe Jack o' lantern faces on the tops of each cookie.
The assembled cookies can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes about 15 sandwich cookies.
So, let's have some fun with Whoopie Pies by dressing them up for Halloween. This is done by simply coloring the Whoopie Pie's vanilla flavored filling a bright orange. Some of the filling is used to sandwich the two round, domed shaped chocolate cookies together. But a little is put aside so we can pipe funny, and scary, and happy Jack o' Lantern faces on the tops of the Whoopie Pies. These cute little cookies would be the ideal dessert to serve at both children and adult Halloween parties.
Halloween Whoopie Pies start with two round, domed shaped chocolate cookies that have a soft and moist, almost cake-like texture. They are often described as a Devil's Food Cake in cookie form. Their dark chocolate color and flavor comes from using Dutch-processed cocoa powder and the addition of buttermilk helps to contribute to their moist texture. The other liquid in these cookies is coffee, but if you are making these for the kids you might want to replace the coffee with water. What makes Halloween Whoopie Pies exceptional is that they are sandwiched together with a vanilla flavored filling that has a soft and creamy texture because of the addition of shortening and corn syrup. The contrast of a dark and chocolately cookie with a bright orange, sweet and creamy filling is both a visual and tasty delight for Halloween.
Now, let's talk about which type of food coloring to use. I like to use the concentrated gel paste dyes that are sold in small 1/2 or one ounce (14 - 28 grams) containers. Make sure to thoroughly mix the paste into the icing as you do not want streaks. You can buy gel pastes at cake decorating stores or stores like Joann Fabric and Craft Stores and Michael's.