Monday, July 16, 2012

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Whoopie Pies {Guest Post from Indigo Scones}

Friends, do I have a treat for you!  I would like to introduce you to Ellen from Indigo Scones.  Not only does she whip up amazing goodies and take breath-takingly beautiful photos , but she is still a teenager.  Yes, you heard me right, this is the work of "a kid".  Her talent at such a young age far surpasses many of us "old folk", and it goes to show that we never are too young to start, or too old to keep learning!  Thank you, Ellen, for helping a girl out in my time of being a kitchen absentee, and the rest of you, GO CHECK OUT HER BLOG!!! 

Hello friends of Tiffany! I'm happy to be here today, sharing naughty recipes and silly stories. I'm sure we'll get along swell.

There's something you should know about me, I'm a cream cheese girl. My toasted bagel isn't complete until it gets a thick slathering of it. This disgusts some people, and others it relieves; knowing they aren't the only ones who binge. Cheesecake is heavenly, cinnamon rolls scream for cream cheese frosting, and red velvet is nothing without it. The world needs cream cheese.

One day I was stuck with a surplus of pie crust scraps. When you're a crazy baker, these little odds and ends tend to pile up in your freezer. I wasn't feeling up to sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar and calling it a day, a combo that I never was crazy for, I wanted something a little different.

I improvise a lot in my kitchen, mostly because I don't have a steady income and I live 20 minutes from the nearest grocery store. You learn to work with what you've got! I recalled seeing some cute little hand pies floating around the internet, and thought, why not make even smaller ones? Bite-sized pies filled with whatever my heart desired, that's what I was going for. So I did a quick inventory check, and came out with a jar of Jif, chocolate chips, some leftover brown sugar pecan filling (crazy baker leftovers strike again!), a jar of raspberry jelly, and some cream cheese.

Look, suffice it to say that I don't even remember what the other flavor combinations tasted like. One bite into those raspberry jelly cream cheese pies, and I was a goner. It was a combination to die for.

Not too long ago, I was making a pie to bring to some occasion or other. I felt a little bad for leaving my parents pie-less when the whole house smelled like heaven, so I pulled out a little cake tin and again put those pie scraps to use. A layering of jelly, frozen berries, and cream cheese chunks was all that was needed. It baked up with the big brother pie and I left it to cool for their dessert. 15 minutes later I got texts from both of them, gushing over how fabulous it was. They had just grabbed a couple of spoons and gone at it, even my crust-hating dad. It was still a winner.

And here I am now! Incorporating this flavor into whoopie pies, with some lemon thrown in, just for good measure. Whoopie pies are a little different from your average cookie, they're more cake-y, and just glorious when stuffed with frosting and left in the fridge overnight. They're also really fun to say five times fast. The batter is very thick, and not too easy to pipe.

I'm a little out of practice in my whoopie piping, so they kind of came out like little beehives. Just use a very large tip, and know that the less beehive-like they look, the better. Also, try not to mound them too much (which kind of goes with the no-beehive theory), you want them a little more flat and disc-like as they will puff up in the oven.

And most importantly, remember that no matter what they look like, they're still going to taste awesome :)

Gauging when they're done isn't hard, but be very careful not to overbake them. Hard, crumbly whoopie pies just aren't right. Their color doesn't change much when baked, but they will puff up and firm. When you touch the top lightly with you fingertip, it should bounce back. However, I prefer to go by the "just until set" method; meaning they will be puffed, no longer raw-looking, but still a bit soft in the center (hence the fingertip test doesn't work so well).

Filling them is a breeze. Food coloring is optional, and I went a little overboard with mine here. I wanted to accentuate the raspberry jam a bit more, and got some reaaalllyyy pink frosting as a result! Anyway, these really are hard to screw up. They only thing I should warn you about is their addictiveness.

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Whoopie Pies
Yield: 20-24 sandwich cookies

Ingredients for the cookies:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from about half a lemon)
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk

Ingredients for the filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, chilled
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons raspberry preserves
1¼ cups powdered sugar
Red food coloring, if desired (I used gel food coloring)

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a handheld mixer), combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in the egg, then the egg white; scraping down the bowl between additions. Scrape the beans from the vanilla pod into the bowl and blend in with the lemon zest. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients, just until incorporated.

Transfer the cookie batter to a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe the batter into 1-inch or 1½-inch rounds onto the prepared pans, spacing them an inch or two apart (Be mindful that you don't mound them too much, unless of course you want them to be that way.). Bake 7-12 minutes, or until puffed and set, rotating halfway through baking time. Let cool on the pan at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract and raspberry preserves. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, then increase the speed and beat until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip.

To assemble the cookies, match them up in pairs by size. Pipe a dollop of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich the cookies together, pushing the filling to the edges. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour.

Sources: whoopie pie adapted from Annie's Eats, cream cheese filling also adapted from Annie's Eats


  1. Oh My Yum! Havent been hungry till I started checkin out your cute blog! LOVE excited to be your newest follower!

    1. Yay! Happy you are here. Welcome welcome!

  2. Ellen blows my mind every time I look at her beautiful photos/recipes! Love this guest post from 2 of my fave bloggers!

    1. Me too! To be so talented, regardless of age, is a gift. Love that we are forming these friendships even from afar!

    2. YOU GUYS. Thank you Carrie and Tiffany, you are two lovely ladies indeed! Happy to call you two friends :)

  3. i can't even handle this.
    i should look away before i only make these for dinner.

  4. Oh...these are AWESOME! SO CUTE TOO!

    And I`m super impressed! You`re a baking star!


I love hearing from you! Thanks for making my day :)

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