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Peppermint Whoopie Pies

For Peppermint Whoopie Pies: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place your oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl sift or whisk 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 and beat to combine. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your mixing bowl as needed. In a small measuring cup, mix the buttermilk with the coffee (or water). With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and buttermilk/coffee mixture (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour. Drop heaping tablespoons (can also use a small ice cream scoop) of the batter onto your 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 8 - 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 low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 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 is soft and fluffy. If desired, color the filling with pink or red food color (I use the gel paste food coloring that is available at cake decorating stores and party stores).

To Assemble: Take one cookie and spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling on the flat side of the cookie. Top with another cookie. Dip the edges of the filling into the crushed candy canes.

The assembled cookies can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes about 16 sandwich cookies.

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Peppermint Whoopie Pies:

1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all purpose flour

3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed

1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon (5 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

1/2 cup (120 ml) coffee or water, at room temperature

Vanilla Filling:

1/4 cup (55 grams) vegetable shortening

1/4 cup (55 grams) butter, at room temperature

1 cup (120 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup (80 ml) (175 grams) light corn syrup (or golden syrup)

pink or red food coloring

crushed candy canes or peppermint crunch baking chips