Sunday, February 19, 2012

Banana Whoopie Pies

Watch out world - I baked!

Although highly unsuccessful in prior endeavors, I decided to be the world's most thoughtful girlfriend this Valentine's Day and try my hand at a dessert I knew my boyfriend loved. I searched for recipes that were simple, yet authentic, and found the following. To my dismay - it worked! Needless to say, I think he was impressed and a little surprised, which is all I could ask for :) Hope you enjoy these as much as we did. Check out the tips for some helpful hints.



Ingredients for the Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups (3 medium to large) mashed bananas
    2 large eggs
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients for the Filling

1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk as needed

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment paper.
Cookies: In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugars, and salt until light & fluffy. Add the vanilla, and the bananas. Beat in both eggs, one at a time.  Whisk together the flour and baking soda; add to the banana mixture, mixing until evenly combined. Scoop the dough by the quarter cup for large cookies, and by the tablespoon for small cookies. Allow plenty of space between them.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched with your finger, and the edges are a very light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on parchment paper for 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a rack to finish cooling completely before filling.
FillingBeat together the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add just enough milk to make the mixture a spreadable consistency, if needed.
Assemble: Go through each cookie and match them up into pairs that are sized most alike.  Spread (or pipe) the bottom of one of the cookies per pair with 2 tablespoons of the filling.  Place cookies in refrigerator until filling has set (about 20 to 30 minutes).  Place the other cookie from the pair on top of the filling, bottom side down. 
TIPS - After enjoying, we both discussed making smaller cookies for the next batch, bite-sized if you will. The cookie is very decadent, so a smaller portion may be better in this ircumstance. Additionally, consider adding a handful of chopped walnuts to the filling for a delicious crunch!