OK, so I don't want to make you feel bad if you weren't able to make it to the Whoopie Pie Bake-Off at Oddfellows Cafe this morning.
Dude, if you weren't there, you totally missed out. For so many reasons...but for the sake of brevity, I'll focus on just a handful of reasons why the event was totally sweet (and suggest that you read the CHS roundup too):
The judges, including all-stars from all arenas: Rocker John Roderick, Chamber of Commerce head Michael Wells, ice cream entrepreneur Molly Moon, the Stranger's Christopher Frizzelle and Chelsea Lin of Seattle CitySearch.
The event was very well-planned: the crew at Oddfellows did a fantastic job of presentation, planning, serving, and sharing the Whoopie Pie love. And the cute posters didn't hurt, either.
The whoopie pies: ranging from classic creations to inventive riffs on the Whoopie Pie, the entries were as varied as the entrants, who ranged from professional bakers (Volunteer Park Cafe, Street Treats, Mini Empire Bakery) to at-home enthusiasts (yours truly included). There was even a gluten-free s'more variety by Jeanne of Four Chickens!
The enthusiastic crowd: well, a picture would show this best. Here's before:
...and here's after:
Yup: people were ready to eat some whoopie pies, all right.
Of course, I'm not going to totally leave you hanging. My entry for Mint Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies (inspired by my favorite ice cream flavor) went over rather well, if I do say so myself--and I'm willing to share the recipe. So even if you didn't make it, you can make some Whoopie of your own, in the safety of your own home.
Mint Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies
Adapted from King Arhur Flour's Reverse Whoopie Pies
Makes 12-24 pies, depending on size
For the cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks 8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 4 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup (8 ounces) milk
- 2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips
- green food coloring, to taste (optional, but recommended)
For the filling
- 4 cups (24 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) light corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
- Make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, salt, peppermint extract, baking powder, and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour to the wet ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the green food coloring and mix until incorporated. Do this gently; there’s no need to beat the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips at the end.
- Using an ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave 2 to 2 1/2 inches between each cookie, for expansion.
- Bake the cookies for 11 minutes, or until they’re barely set on top; if you see them browning on the bottom, they've baked too long. Cool them on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- To make the filling: Place the chocolate chips, corn syrup, butter, and heavy cream into a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is very hot. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Add in the peppermint and stir one more time. Chill in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, till the filling is cool room temperature. Remove from the fridge, and beat at high speed with an electric mixer until it lightens in color and thickens slightly. If the filling doesn’t lighten and thicken after several minutes of beating, chill for another 15 minutes, then beat again. Spread a generous amount of filling on one of the flat sides of the cookies; sandwich another half on top to form your pie. Repeat with the remaining pies. Store in an airtight container--it's better not to freeze these. Because the tops of the whoopie pies can be sticky, I'd suggest individually wrapping in waxed paper rather than plastic wrap.