I have a whole cookbook devoted to Whoopie Pies and I have tons of whoopie pie recipes but I've only ventured into them a couple of times. I decided that I might as well pull out the big guns and celebrate my first Valentine's Day alone in 15 years (really) with a snazzy dessert. And really, what's more Valentine's-y and snazzy than red velvet? I was a little bit concerned because this red velvet cake does not have vinegar or typical red velvet ingredients, but the buttermilk and applesauce work surprisingly well. It's delicious. The mascarpone cream in the middle is so good that I ate some with a spoon because I'm terrible. I brought these into work yesterday and the feedback was that they were delicious (except my friend who has bad reactions to red food coloring: if you have a bad reaction to dye, this is not your recipe). I did not use my whoopie pie pan and instead went the conventional method of "a cookie sheet," and they kind of turned out better than they would have in the pan. I would DEFINITELY make these again. Absolutely.
Out of the oven:
Red Velvet Cake Whoopie Pies
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring (more if necessary)
Mascarpone Cream Cheese Filling:
4 ounces mascarpone cheese -- room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the egg whites, followed by the applesauce, buttermilk, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add additional coloring, if needed, to reach desired color. The color will dim slightly with baking, but try to shoot for a burgundy/brown color. Stir in flour mixture until batter is smooth and no streaks of flour remain.
4. Drop batter two tablespoonfuls at a time onto the prepared baking sheet, forming 2-inch in diameter rounds.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, until set but not browned. Cookies should spring back when lightly touched, like a cake.
6. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Beat together mascarpone and cream cheese until well combined. Beat in vanilla and milk. Add in confectioners sugar, scraping down the bowl as you go. When it has all been incorporated, beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until icing is very smooth and thick, but not stiff. Add more confectioners sugar, if necessary.
8. Spread filling between pairs of cooled cookies.