making whoopie.

since the big move money has been a little tight around here so luxuries, such as magazines, have fallen by the wayside {goodbye monthly rachael ray}. but, like every year, i go against the grain and get the halloween martha. i just had too. even when the husband spied it, the first thing out of his mouth was "seems someone won the lottery." i rolled my eyes and told him, in my best impersonation of becky bloomwood, "but i get it every year and just think of all the ideas we will get from it - we are actually saving money!". he shot me a little grin, patted me on the back and went to pour over the deliciously photographed and styled pages with the kids.

aydan and me had gone over all the editions we already have + the new one earlier that day and had settled on what we wanted to accomplish for this halloween - her gaze fell upon the costume idea for little miss monstrous and completely fell in love {goodbye bat-girl}. then her eyes settled on the good thing section where the whoopie pies were featured in beautiful little take-home bags and her eyes lite up,she looked at me hopefully and asked ever so sweetly, "can we make these for my class? please?" and how could i resist! she got me - hook, line, stinker.

i had never made these before but have heard about them through all the usual nooks and crannies so i was quite excited to add them to my roster. they were actually quite easy. i had trouble with the portioning - as i always seem to - but in the end we had enough for the class {+ a few for the test subjects} and i only needed to make a double batch of the originally called for amount of icing. not too shabby. one tip - do not base the flavour of your product on tasting the cake part on it's own - you will think you did something wrong. wait patiently {not my forte} and try the finished assembled product and you will be blown away. i am giving us all a sweets break before i tackle the chocolate pumpkin version i have been brewing up in my noggin - sure to knock our socks off! ohh and possibly a red velvet contender for christmas.......

so we made the pies and we made tags and she took them into class. and she was a hit. i'll do anything to help her be a hit.

halloween whoopie pies
via martha stewart.

for these it calls for unsweetened cocoa powder. regular not dutch-processed. i only had the dutch kind so i used it anyways but i also added the baking soda...a decision i wouldn't do again. i found it had a slight taste to it and have since found out that if you do have to use dutch cocoa instead of the regular leave out the baking soda altogether. also it asks you to drop the mix by the tablespoon full on the pan but i found this to be a bit messy and also to make them uneven and a little too rustic for my tastes. i know this is an extra step and something else to clean but, for batch 2, i stuffed mine into a piping bag (it didn't all fit - i did it two times, got a little messy) with no tip insert and piped them onto my parchment. this batch yielded much smoother tops and i was able to portion it out a lot better.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature + an extra cup on hand just in case you need to make a double batch of the icing.
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar, sift over bowl
orange nonpareils, jimmies or sanding sugar, for decorating

1 - preheat oven to 375 degrees. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder (remember to sift into bowl to remove lumps), baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2 - with an electric mixer on medium beat 1/2 cup of the butter and the brown sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. add egg; beat until smooth - remember to stop and scrape down the bowl as you go. with the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mix and the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mix. mix until just smooth.
3 - stuff half your mix into a piping bag and pipe tablespoons full, 2 inches apart, on to 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. {instead of using the piping bag, you can drop the mixture by the spoonful on the parchment keeping the spacing the same}. bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cookie comes out clean, 10 to 14 minutes. immediately transfer cookies to wire rack; let cool completely.
4 - meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the vanilla and remaining butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. gradually add icing sugar, beating until smooth. (if you want to add colour to your filling do so now).
5 - spread bottom half of the cookies with 1 tablespoon of filling each; sandwich with remaining cookie, pressing gently so filling reaches edges {i found that i needed more than this per cookie therefor i had to make a second batch of filling}. coat exposed filling with nonpareils or jimmies. let set for 15 minutes. cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 days at room temperature.

makes 12 sandwich cookies.

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