Monday, August 22, 2011

Black & White Whoopies

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the movies with one of my best friends and saw what I consider the best movie I've seen this year--"The Help."  It has an amazing cast of actresses--Viola Davis as Aibileen, Octavia Spencer as Minny and Emma Stone as Skeeter.

Based on a New York Times bestseller, the story takes place in Mississippi in the 1960s.  I remember this time, all too well and the rules that governed associations between whites and blacks, but this movie showed the courage it took these women to transcend those societal rules that defined them to form a remarkable sisterhood.

This movie also reminded me a lot of my mother, who was a strong-willed woman and stood up for what was right--after all, she raised 8 children, a lot on her own while my dad was on sea duty.  My Dad respected her for this strength and the independence she had for making decisions.  It was the partnership they had that I looked for when I got married.

These Black and White Whoopies meld two of my favorite flavors together, chocolate and vanilla--creating a dessert that's exemplifies opposites working together to make one delectable dessert.

Chocolate Whoopies 
1 1/2 sticks (12 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. espresso powder
2 large eggs
1 T Vanilla Extract
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325F-degrees.  Lightly spray "whoopie pan" or line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the brown sugar and espresso and beat until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated.  Sift the dry ingredients and add them alternately with the buttermilk.  Beat 1 more minute at medium speed.  Use a scoop to form the round cookies.

Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes or until firm to touch on top.  Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Makes approx. 2 1/2 dozen.

Vanilla Whoopies
1/2 stick (4 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 T vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
1 T. Vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 T milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. white vinegar

Increase oven temperature to 350F-degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening.  Add the sugars, vanilla bean "paste" and vanilla extract and cream together for 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, then, the buttermilk and beat until combined.
Combine the milk, baking soda and vinegar in a measuring cup and stir.  Add the milk mixture along with the rest of the dry ingredients and beat on medium for about 2 minutes on medium speed.  

Use a scoop to measure batter onto the "whoopie pie" pan or a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.  Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

1  cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
4-5 cups confectioners' sugar
1 T vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and start speed on low.  When the dry ingredients are incorporated, push the speed to Med/Hi and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until fluffy.

Scoop filling onto the underside of the whoopie pie and top with the opposite flavor.

The Help is certainly worth seeing--especially with a special friend and these Black & White Whoopies are worth sharing too!  Enjoy!



  1. I finished the book last Friday and still have to see the movie. Looking forward to it!! I will wait until you send a box of those whoopies for me to take to the theater. That would be a treat. O.K., I'll bake them myself. They look great. Thanks, Susan, for recommending the movie.

  2. We plan to see the movie next week but I'm thinking that the whoopie pies would be a special treat NOW!! Hugs, Barb