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A BFA Painting and Drawing graduate gone cookie designer and decorator.  I bring my knowledge of art, composition, and color to pastries to create the perfect cookies and cakes for your events or occasions.
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Vanilla Bean Whoopie Pies

I love Whoopie Pies but I've never made them myself, let alone tried a gluten free one.  I recently acquired some vanilla bean pods and wanted to think of a recipe to use them in.  I decided to make simple vanilla bean whoopie pies.  Then was the question of the filling.  I wanted something to compliment the vanilla bean but not overpower it.  I decided to go with a light mocha buttercream.  Once I made everything, I was 4 whoopie pies short of filling them all.  So I also whipped up some really quick strawberry buttercream as well.  Both were delicious although I think I preferred the mocha buttercream.  Coffee with a hint of chocolate didn't outshine the vanilla bean cake but paired nicely with it.  The cake was light and moist and filled with vanilla flavor.  They're a perfect balance of delicate and flavorful.  And as my boyfriend put it, the coffee flavor makes it acceptable to have them in the morning!

Vanilla Bean Whoopie Pies with Mocha Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Makes 2 1/2-3 dozen cookies
Print Recipe
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 3/4 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, roome temperature
- 4 Tbsp shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 Vanilla Bean Pods, split and seeds removed

You can kind of see in these photos some of my whoopies were slightly flat.  The second time I made these I refrigerated the dough for about 20 minutes before baking and they were nice and rounded and fluffy.  So if you don't have time for that, at least chill the tray for 5 minutes before baking.  That being said, you can start preheating at 375˚F if you'd like, but I'd wait til about 5 minutes before you start baking.
Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise, then use the tip of the knife to scrape out the vanilla bean.
*Side not: dry out the "shell," then add it to a jar of sugar and it will infuse the sugar with vanilla flavor.  Great in coffee and tea!!

Mix the flours, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
Cream the butter, shortening, and sugars until light and fluffy.  About 4-5 minutes.
Add the eggs and mix until incorporated.  It may look a bit "curdled" at this point but don't worry it's fine!
Combine the vinegar, baking soda, and milk and add to the mixture.
Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture.
Add about half of the buttermilk.  Allow it to just incorporate but do not over mix.  Then add the flour again, and alternate with the buttermilk, ending on the flour.

Add the vanilla bean.

To avoid overmixing, you can finish the mixing by hand. 

At this point I placed plastic wrap over the batter and refrigerated for about 20 minutes.
Preheat to 375˚F.

Scoop the batter directly onto a sheet of parchment or a silpat mat.  Make sure to leave room for them to spread.
Bake for 8-10 minute.  Mine took 8 minutes.  A toothpick inserted horizontally it should come out clean.
Give them time to completely cool on the pan.  Otherwise they may break trying to get them off of it.  Once cool, remove and match them up. Notice the ones in the front are flatter and the once in the back are more rounded.  This is the difference between not chilling and chilling the dough.

Mocha Buttercream
Recipe by Jesicakes
Print Recipe
- 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 3/4 Tbsp brewed coffee, room temperature or chilled *not warm or hot!
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp meringue powder
- pinch of salt
Cream the butter in a  mixer until light and fluffy.

Add the meringue powder and cocoa powder to the powdered sugar.  Add the vanilla to the coffee.

Gradually begin adding the powdered sugar mixture with the mixer on low.  When it gets too dry, add a bit of the coffee mixture.  Alternate until both are incorporated. 

Add the pinch of salt.  Then allow the buttercream to beat on high for 3-5 minutes so it gets nice and silky and light and fluffy.

Place in a piping bag and you're ready to fill your whoopie pies!
Fill the whoopie pies with the buttercream mixture. Top with the other piece of cake and you're whoopie pies are complete!
When I made mine I didn't make enough mocha buttercream.  The recipe above is for 1 1/2 times the amount I made, so you'll have enough.  When I didn't have enough, I made a tiny recipe of strawberry buttercream.  I didn't bother with a piping bag.  You can see the difference in appearance when using one versus not.
Store your whoopie pies in the refrigerator if they won't be consumed within a few hours.  They'll stay for 3-5 days most likely in the fridge.  Any extra buttercream store in the fridge or in the freezer.

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