Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

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Why have I never made whoopie pies before? They are like cakes, but portable. What? You think I just described cupcakes? Here’s the thing that’s always bugged me: there is no elegant or polite way to eat a cupcake. It just doesn’t seem right to use a fork on them (and what if you don’t have a plate and silverware available, huh?), and when you stick your face in a giant cupcake, you just don’t look good. And mini cupcakes? Too small. Way too small. I like my portable treats more than one bite.

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Here’s why I probably never made whoopie pies. The name. Whoopie pies? Seriously? Where did that even come from? Pies aren’t cakes, after all. It just doesn’t make sense. Also, a few months ago, Bon Appetit had a face-off between whoopie pies and macarons. Macarons won. This must have stuck in my mind for some reason, giving me an unfortunate whoopie-pie-prejudice.

Well, I hereby rescind my snobbishness towards whoopie pies. Who cares what they are called. These things are insane. Not to mention MUCH easier to make, and arguably more rewarding (more than one bite, anyone) than a macaron.

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Here are a few things you will need to make red velvet whoopie pies. The awesome Baked Explorations cookbook, Adele loudly blasting in your kitchen, and a latte from Alterra. You will not need a furry baking assistant who likes flour a bit too much.

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Red velvet. Oh, red velvet. I learned that red velvet is a Southern thing that requires cocoa powder, red food coloring, and shortening. If it doesn’t have those three things, it is not red velvet. Prepare to get red food coloring all over your hands and to be shocked by how saturated the color of the dough is. Don’t worry, it’s not as frightening once baked.

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Plop the batter on your tray and get them into the oven. Check out those pictures! Doesn’t it seem like they magically rise up all perfect, piled on top of each other and filled with frosting? I’d like to tell you that’s what happens. But that would be lying. It is not that easy.

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Side note: You will have a few special ones. I am not sure why this happens, but it works out to your favor, because then you can eat them along the way.

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I almost stopped there ’cause the things were so good on their own. But persevere. Cream cheese frosting is calling. Don’t worry, the recipe makes more than enough frosting to have a few spoonfuls before you make the whoopie pies themseles.

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And there you have it. Whoopie pies. A Saturday afternoon adventure in your kitchen.

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They only keep three days in the fridge. But somehow I don’t think that will be an issue, even if you’re the only one eating them (for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Continue reading

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