The batter for these whoopie pies was superb. It was mousse-like—puffy and creamy. Something akin to a really thick chocolate shake. I almost didn’t want to bake it—it was that good. But, I scooped it into little domes and popped them right into the oven to bake.
Only thing to do then was wait. I started to clean up—humming along, excitedly anticipating the divine chocolateness that would soon be cooling on the counter. Uhh…my heart sank. The egg replacer was still sittling there. Never added it. I hate when that happens!
Bing. The timer rang and now I wasn’t humming anymore. I was thinking about how I’d have to wash all that stuff, get all the ingredients out again, and start over. But wait, they looked pretty good. Better than good. They looked perfect. Perfect. Swoon.
They tasted perfect, too. Ha! Egg Replacer. I didn’t need you!
So, I started humming again, gently placing the wonderful little cakes on the cooling racks and began thinking, “I’m really not a baker. I’m more of a cook. I like to taste as I go along, to experiment with amounts and flavors, to smell spices before adding them in odd amounts. I don’t like to measure all the time wondering if I should scoop or spoon the ingredients—because apparently that makes a BIG difference. I don’t like to time things and poke at them with toothpicks and then wonder if what I see on the end of the toothpick means it’s done…or not. I like the intuitiveness of cooking…not the science of baking.”
Thing is…I like the end result of baking. A lot. I’m not going to be able to give it up. I’m just going to have cave to the science of baking.
Before we get to the big recipe reveal let’s talk about the filling—that’s why it got first billing in the title. (Even though the little cakes are stick-them-in-your-mouth-two-at-a-time good.)
I was researching marshmallow creme because my friends at The Peche were taunting us all a few weeks ago with these S’mores Bars. It seemed like I’d have to make marshmallows if wanted the S’mores Bars. There were a few agave marshmallow recipes which, who would have thought, can also be made with maple syrup. A few more ingredients and wow, maple marshmallow creme. You’re going to want to pipe this stuff directly into your mouth. Resist. Save it for the little cakes. It’s really spectacular that way.
Maple Marshmallow Filled Whoopie Pies
Making the cakes…
Preheat the oven to 375.
In a medium bowl whisk together and set aside:
2 cups GF flour blend
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon instant coffee (I used Starbucks Via)
And, in a 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together and set aside:
1 cup rice milk (alternatively hemp, soy, almond or regular milk)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat at medium speed until fluffy (about 3-4 minutes):
6 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread
½ cup sugar
Alternately add the dry and wet mixtures, beating at medium speed and scraping down the sides from time to time. Beat a minute or two until well mixed and creamy.
Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet about 1 ½ to 2 inches apart. A medium cookie scoop works well since you want the batter to be round and domed—this produces a nicely shaped whoopie pie cake.
Bake 8-9 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and then gently remove to a cooling rack. Makes about 28-30 cakes.
Making the crème filling….
Combine together and microwave for 30 seconds:
1 packet unflavored gelatin
¼ cup pure water
Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer:
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Beat with the whisk attachment until marshmallow crème forms, about 10-12 minutes.
In a separate bowl (again you’ll use your stand mixer—I removed the marshmallow crème to another container and washed out the mixing bowl so it could be used again) beat together at medium speed until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes:
¼ cup Earth Balance
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Add to the creamed sugar mixture and beat about 3 minutes at medium speed:
Prepared maple marshmallow crème
Note: for a vegan version you may use Suzanne’s Ricemellow Creme instead of the steps above—1 10oz. container. For maple flavoring add 1/2 teaspoon maple extract to the final step.) Scratch that. Ricemellow Creme does not work—just tried it. I’ll be testing some other fillings that are vegan-friendly and update the recipe. Until then a vegan maple buttercream filling would work nicely. Here is one I found from a trusted site Diet, Dessert and Dogs. Another option is this fluffy vegan buttercream frosting, although it is not maple flavored.
Putting it all together…
You’ll need a large ziploc plastic bag and a big mug or small bowl. You’re going to make & fill a makeshift pastry bag so you can pipe the filling onto the cakes.
Here’s how you’ll do it: place one of the lower corners of the bag down into the mug and then open the bag and drape the sides over the outside of the mug.
Now fill the bag with the filling and bring up and gather the sides. Snip off the tip of the bag (about a 1/2 inch) and work the filling down.
Set down half the cakes, dome side down, and pipe a large glob (about a tablespoon depending on the size of your cakes) onto the middle of the cake. Top the whole thing with another cake and gently press down until the filling oozes to the sides—you can determine how thick you want the filling but I think a 1/4 inch is optimum.
Repeat with the remaining cakes until they’re all assembled. (Here’s a tip—when you’re not using the “pastry bag” place it back into the mug tip side down. It’ll keep your work space nice and clean.)
Makes about 14-15 Whoopie Pies.