Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Treats!

So it's Valentine's Day. I always thought it was kind of a stupid holiday, but maybe that's because I'm single. But, hey, it's a free pass to pig out on candy, and it's an occasion to bake!

Instead of going out and buying my parents chocolate, I made White Chocolate-Raspberry Whoopie Pies for them/us. (Let's face it, I'll probably eat more than they will. :-P)

I thought about doing it as one giant whoopie pie in my heart-shaped cake pans, but we have two half-eaten cakes in the house already. At least these are individual serving-sized cakes. I was going to make these last year in SC for my Brooks buddies, but I was lazy or busy or something and it didn't happen. I'm glad I did them this year, though, because they're delicious!

White Chocolate-Raspberry Whoopie Pies

1/2 C. butter - softened
1 C. white sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1/2 C. buttermilk
red food coloring (optional)

3 oz. white chocolate chips or melting wafers
1/4 C. whipping cream
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 C. butter - softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 C. powdered sugar
jar of seedless raspberry preserves


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a couple of cookie sheets with nonstick spray (or line with parchment paper) and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt, beating until combined. Mix flour and baking soda together. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, beating after each addition until just combined. Add 4-6 drops of red food coloring and mix until the color is evenly distributed. (I used 4 drops, but the pink color is a little weak.)

Using a small cookie scoop, or a tablespoon, spoon dough onto prepared cookie sheets, a couple of inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, or until set. (They should be spread, risen, and fairly firm to the touch.) Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling, in a small saucepan, combine the white chocolate and cream. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. While the chocolate mixture is cooling, in a large bowl use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and softened butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add the 4 cups of powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture. Chill for about 10 minutes to firm up.

To assemble, spread the flat half of one cake with the raspberry preserves. Spread the flat half of another cake with the cream cheese filling. Sandwich the two together, and wrap with plastic wrap. Once all of the pies are assembled, store in the refrigerator or a cool place.

Now, if you don't want to go out and buy buttermilk, like I didn't, just pour 1/2 Tbsp. of lemon juice OR apple cider vinegar into a measuring cup, and then fill to the 1/2 C. mark with milk. Stir and let sit for 10-15 minutes, and you have a buttermilk substitute!

Also, you could use mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese for the filling, but I had cream cheese on hand and didn't want to run to the store. You could also use other red preserves, like cherry or strawberry. The raspberry just has a nice tartness to even out all the sweet.

Make these for someone you love today! Happy Valentine's Day! Enjoy!

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