Two words: handheld yumminess
Who knew what monster I was unleashing when I made Pumpkin Whoopie Pies in November? My husband had always turned his nose up at them, prior to this. (Deny it if you want, my dear, but it’s true.) Yet, after he got to sample them at the office and then enjoy them again over Thanksgiving he was hooked. He and our older son sat in the living room, brainstorming other possible whoopie pie combinations.
Listening to them, I was excited to have a new category of baked goods to play with. While I am glad to make things that I like, it’s also nice to cook or bake for an excited audience. Yes, I delight in my own creations, but I like it so much more when I can share that food happiness with someone else.
Fast forward to January, the month when the entire world is supposed to be eating better. I generally don’t switch too much, but my hubby was making a greater effort. However, he was also being realistic. As part of that, he determined that he’d work on healthy eating all week but allow himself to indulge on the weekend. I supported that plan and decided to make whoopie pies on a Friday- just in time for the weekend.
From the brainstormed list, I knew that a banana whoopie pie was high on the list. What I needed to determine was the filling. I suppose there could be some sort of peanut butter filling, but I wasn’t in that sort of mood. Plain vanilla filling seemed too sweet. But if I made cream cheese filling, it would have a hint of tang to balance all of the sweet.
Having made a second type of whoopie pie, I can tell you that although there is a similar base recipe, they act differently. The pumpkin version was a bit more dense. The banana cakes were moister and a bit more tender as well. Because of this they tend to spread out more on the baking tray. (You’ve been warned; give them space in the oven.)
Also, because they are tender, they benefit from the addition of crunch. It isn’t mandatory, but putting a sprinkle of chopped walnuts or pecans on the frosting before adding the top cake is nice. Even nicer is taking a few more minutes and glazing the nuts with maple syrup. Holy mac and cheese! You then have subtly fruity cake, tangy frosting, and sweet pecans, which produce this euphoria-inducing dessert. It truly is amazing.
So, as you’re doing your best to be a healthy eater this month, give yourself a treat for all you’ve done. Make some of these Banana Whoopie Pies, and share them with friends and family.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 cup mashed banana, about 3
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups flour
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tb. whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup Maple Glazed Walnuts or Pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place butter and both sugars in stand mixer, and beat with paddle attachment on speed 2 until smooth.
- Add egg, mixing until fully incorporated on speed 2.
- Add banana, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing well on speed 2.
- Use a spatula to scrape down the sides, and mix again.
- Add flour, mixing on low; scrape sides with spatula and mix until fully blended.
- Scoop approximately 1-1/2 tablespoons batter, spaced evenly, onto baking sheet.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cakes spring back when touched.
- Allow to cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet.
- Transfer to baking rack to cool completely.
- In a stand mixer cream together the cream cheese and butter on speed 2 for about 4 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix on low speed until combined.
- Spread the flat side of 15 cakes with the cream cheese frosting.
- Sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of maple glazed walnuts or pecans.
- Top each with another cake.