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Thread: Whoopie Pies - Make Ahead?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    In my heaven on earth

    Whoopie Pies - Make Ahead?

    Oh boy, I've really backed myself into a corner on this one. My dear cousin is getting married on September 24th. The wedding is on the farm but will be somewhat elegant at the same time. As part of this they decided that rather than have a big wedding cake they want desserts made by all their favorite people/bakers in the family and I am one of them. I offered up (and she was secretly thinking of) whoopie pies. I think I've done lost my mind. I am planning on making minis as most people will want small bites of a few choices from the table (all will be displayed on various cake plates etc) but I'm at a loss as to when I'm going to find time to make them.

    So my questions are:

    Anyone have a favorite recipe for a chocolate version?

    Originally I had planned pumpkin but we're getting a lot of fall style desserts and so far no chocolate that we know of and she's a chocolate girl. I've seen Joe's recipe and am considering but would prefer not to have to get whole wheat pastry flour.


    I can do different filling from the cake recipe if you think a certain type of filling would hold up longer. Buttercream perhaps?

    How far in advance can I do this?

    Can I make the cookies on Wednesday and then pack air tight then fill Friday afternoon for a Saturday evening wedding keeping in the fridge between? Could I make the cookies on the Sunday before and freeze then thaw before filling? I'm pretty much booked up on Thursday (15 mile run in the a.m., time with pregnant sister in afternoon, family dinner in the evening) and since I'm in the wedding I don't expect to have much available time on Saturday before the wedding.

    Any other thoughts or tips? On top of all of this we are suddenly going to be down a lot of people at work due to medical issues and even though I'm on vacation all next week I may have to work some just to keep my desk from going down in flames too. ACK!!!

    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw

  2. #2
    Hmm, I think it might be tough to pull this off, if you want them to look semi-fancy. My mom made whoopie pies all the time when I was a kid, and I remember we would individually wrap and freeze any we didn't eat that day. I think they got a little dried out by the next day if they weren't frozen. We wrapped them in wax paper and ate them straight from the freezer or thawed - perfectly yummy either way, but I remember the paper sticking to the cookie, pulling off the surface here and there. So, not very pretty for serving. That's probably only if they thawed in the paper, though - might be OK if you unwrap while still frozen. I also remember the cookie sticking to our fingertips as we were eating them, so there was lots of finger licking/sucking afterwards - not so elegant at a party, maybe?

    I guess if you use a scoop to portion out the cookie dough so they're all perfectly uniform, freeze after filling (or just after baking), and unwrap right after taking them out of the freezer, they might look fine.

    My mom used a filling different from most recipes I've seen. It was a cooked and cooled flour/milk base mixed with Crisco, sugar and a little salt and vanilla, I think.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Tar Heel Country!
    Hey, Robyn--bless you for being such a thoughtful cousin! I think your plan to make in advance & freeze the cakes, then fill on Friday for Sat. pm will be okay, just have to be careful of the lil cakies sticking on/to each other. I just got the book "Whoopie Pies" by Sarah Billingsley and Amy's their advice for making whoopies in advance:

    "The cake part can be baked in advance, cooled, put on a cookie sheet, frozen for 1 hr, then put in a plastic freezer bag for up to 1 month. ...Most buttercream, ganache, & cream cheese fillings can be made ahead and stored in fridge up to 1 week. Classic Marshmallow & Whipped Choc. Ganache fillings (in the book) do not store well, best used same day. When you are ready to assemble, remove cakes and defrost @ room temp at least 2 hrs before filling. Bring pre-made fillings to room temp about 1 hr before using.

    Storage--....after making, tend to stick to each other, if you need to store more than a few days, put in a wide, shallow container. If you have to stack, put wax paper (parchment) between layers & don't crowd.

    Freezing whoopies whole--...can freeze most pies in the book up to 1 month (after that, cakes get mushy/fillings taste grainy). Best to freeze assembled whoopies on cookie sheet for 1 hr til solid, put into ind. small bags, getting out as much air as possible, then return to freezer."

    I'll be happy to post their classic buttercream if you want, but here's their recipe for their
    Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Filling
    48 two-inch cake (24 whoopies)

    1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
    ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1½ teaspoons baking soda
    ½ teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
    1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 1/4 cup milk

    Classic Marshmallow Filling

    1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff (or other prepared marshmallow cream, which will do in a pinch)
    1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening
    1 cup confectioners sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of wax paper. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and brown sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.

    Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and the remaining ½ cup milk and beat until completely combined.

    Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets; repeat, spacing the rounds at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the rounds spring back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

    Meanwhile, make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Marshmallow Fluff and the vegetable shortening, staring on low and increasing to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.

    Using a knife or spoon, spread the filling onto the flat side of a cooled cake. Top with another cake, flat side down. Repeat with the remaining cakes and serve.

    I made this version back in 04, so here's a T&T. Really liked it then! And it's all butter if you don't want to use shortening...
    WICKEDLY GOOD WHOOPIE PIES (Woman's Day mag, 2004)
    Makes 25-30 whoopies

    1 stick (1/2 c) butter, softened
    1 c. granulated sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. each baking powder & salt
    1 large egg
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/2 c. unweetened cocoa powder
    1 c. 1% lowfat milk
    2 c. all-purpose flour

    3/4 stick (6 Tbs) butter, melted
    1 c. plus 2 Tbs. confectioners' sugar
    1 c. plus 2 Tbs. marshmallow cream/fluff
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

    1. Heat oven to 375. Coat baking sheet(s) w/nonstick spray.
    2. Batter: Beat butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder & salt in large bowl w/mixer on medium speed til fluffy. Beat in egg & vanilla, then cocoa til blended. With mixer on low speed, slowly eat in milk til blended. By hand, stir in flour. Drop level tablespoons 2" apart on prepared baking sheet(s).
    3. Bake 8 minutes or til tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool on sheet l minute before removing to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat w/remaining batter.
    4. Filling: With a wooden spoon, vigorously mix all ingredients til blended and smooth.
    5. Spread 2 tsp. onto flat side of half of the cakies; top each with another cakie, pressing to adhere.

    Per cakie: 142 cal, 2 g pro, 21 g carb, 1 g fiber, 6 g fat(4 g sat), 22 g chol, 172 mg sod.

    Planning tip--refrigerate airtight w/wax paper between layers up to 1 wk. or freeze up to 1 month.
    Last edited by Joanie B; 09-12-2011 at 10:51 AM.
    I'm a Tar Heel born, I'm a Tar Heel bred.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    In my heaven on earth
    Joanie, thank you! That's a huge help! Okay, I think I'll bake this Saturday/Sunday and freeze then do the butter cream on Friday and fill Saturday morning. I think that will work. I see that I wasn't clear on the feel of the wedding. I didn't mean that everything needs to be/look uber elegant I mean we are talking whoopie pies here, just that it's not a farm wedding in the respect that it's super casual etc. Oh, did I mention, I'm one of 2 maids of honors?

    This blog post kind of gets at the theme of the wedding.

    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Scituate, MA
    Robyn - you can also check out The Weekend Baker by Abigail Dodge Johnson (Johnson Dodge? I always forget!) Anyway, the premise of the whole book is baking even when you're short on time. The whoopie pie recipe is in the "baking in stages" section and walks you through things you can do in advance (filling, etc.) similar to what Joanie posted. She also has a few variations on flavors (maybe peanut butter and a few others.) If you are interested I will dig my book out tomorrow and post.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    In my heaven on earth
    Just a quick update. I made the cake parts of these on Sunday then froze them on cookie sheets before putting into ziploc bags. Then I thawed on Saturday morning which only took an hour or so and filled with a basic vanilla buttercream on Saturday morning for serving Saturday evening. Everything worked out extremely well.

    Here's the recipe I used for the cakes.

    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw

  7. #7
    That's great news! Glad to hear that everything worked out well Will keep this advice in mind for the future.
    Exploring the restaurants in my backyard and cooking up a storm at MassachusEATS!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    In my heaven on earth
    Oh, I should mention that I spread them all out individually immediately after taking out of the freezer so they didn't thaw into a big blob. My sister came over Saturday morning so between the 2 of us and the buttercream in piping bags the filling went very fast.

    Oh, and my dear BIL came too and did a honey-do list for me. I'm a lucky girl!

    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw

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