I’m not a big fan of going out to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day.  I prefer to make a simple meal at home.  Not something that takes too long, not something elaborate – just something made with love.  Because after all, that is what Valentine’s Day is about!  When I asked my husband what he would like for a Valentine’s Day dessert, he chose red velvet cake.  Not being a big fan of traditional red velvet cake, I opted to try something a little different.  Here is a different take on a red velvet recipe.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie

Ingredients

Whoopie Pie:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp liquid red food coloring

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

For Whoopie Pies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (can also use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg beating well. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a small measuring cup, mix the buttermilk and red food coloring. With the mixer on low-speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Drop heaping tablespoons (can also use a small ice cream scoop) of the batter onto the 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.
  4. Bake for about 9-10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies, when lightly pressed, spring back (or a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean). Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Filling:

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low-speed, gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.

To Assemble:

Take one cookie and spread a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese filling on the flat side of the cookie. Top with another cookie. If desired, take a little of the filling and thin it out, to piping consistency, with a teaspoon of milk or cream. Place in a small piping bag or plastic bag and pipe lines back and forth over the tops of the Whoopie Pies. The assembled cookies can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days.

Valentine’s Day is not about stress, so don’t stress about making the dinner perfect.  Simple recipes can be filled with love just as much as elaborate ones.  And, just have a glass of wine while cooking if you start to feel any stress!

photo credit: seelensturm via photopin cc