Sunday, March 20, 2011

Birthday time, and Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

 Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

Today is my amazing Farming Hubby's Birthday!! Now I know I usually use this section to talk about my delicious food creation, but today it's dedicated to my man! Birthday's are not a big deal to him, and I fully support him on that. However, I can't let his birthday go by without making a bit of a fuss. ;-) Now as you probably already know, I am so head over heels (ok, I've not literally flipped over while wearing heels for him... but you get the picture) in love with this wonderful husband of mine, which to me makes this day extra special. But first I want to transport you back a few years...

See not only is today my Husband's birthday, but it is also my little Brothers 13th birthday!!!! AHHHH! I cannot believe with any part of me that my little bro is a teenager today! Talk about a scary thought... I remember the night my mom went into labor with him, and watching a scary twister movie while timing her contractions... haha! (By the way I totally did not clear this with her, so sorry mom! But I love you!) Little did I know that while I slept (or lack there of) on a cot at my mom's best friends house, while my little brother made his grand entrance into the world, that the man of my dreams was celebrating his own birthday 2,000 miles away! Talk about a crazy coincidence right?

Now I don't know about in your families, but in ours the birthday person (or in my case boys) get to choose their own dinner and dessert options for their celebration. Now I don't know what my brother is doing for his birthday, but I know that he got my card and gift in the mail and he called me about to jump out of his skin (did you know that I'm like the coolest big sister ever? haha! Ok maybe not, but hey he loves me!), but my Hubby asked to go out to a little Mexican Taco Stand near our house, and for these amazing little Red Velvet Whoopie Pies. Ok... Ready for a fast forward to the present?

About a month ago I was doing my usual evening routine of perusing food blogs, and I stumbled across this recipe on the Brown Eyed Baker's site, and was looking at it drooling over my laptop. Well next thing I know my wonderful man is asking me what I'm looking at, so I tell him. (Did I mention that his family is obsessed with Red Velvet Cake? No? Oh... Sorry. They're obsessed with it. haha!) Well he immediately informs me that is his dessert of choice for his birthday. Then he promptly forgot about it, luckily for him I didn't. So when we planned a last minute birthday dinner last week for him, I mentioned that I would probably not get these done for his impromptu party. Hehe!!! I lied, well ok, not really. I actually didn't think I would have time to make these, but I did and thoroughly enjoyed surprising him and the rest of his family with these delicious treats! And though I was a little skeptical since they are such Red Velvet fans, and I've never made a Red anything cake to save my life before, that they'd like it, but they were a huge hit and I'm pretty sure at least one of them ate 2 pies... haha! With that said, I hope you enjoy these as much as we did! And thanks for reading about the leading man in my life, and the little brother who I will always hold dear to my heart!

Happy Birthday boys! I love you both!

For the whoopies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons red food coloring (or like half a tube of gel food coloring... ahah!)
1 cup buttermilk

For the cream cheese filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon milk

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and both sugars on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time (tip, crack eggs into seperate bowl first to make sure no shell gets into the batter), beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and the red food coloring and beat until just blended. Add 1/4 of the flour mixture and 1/4 of the buttermilk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated, repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk. Using a spoon (or an ice cream scoop), drop a tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10-12 minutes each, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the filling… In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and milk and increase the speed to medium-high; beat until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes. To assemble: Spread the filling onto the flat side of one cake using a knife of spoon. Alternatively, you can use a pastry bag with a round tip (I used a ziploc bag fitted with a round tip) to pipe the filling onto the cake. Top it with another cake, flat-side down. Repeat with the rest of the cakes and filling.
Storing: Assembled whoopie pies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you need to stack layers, place a piece of wax paper between layers.

These were absolutely amazing! I would recommend using the liquid food coloring for these, but since my store was sold out and I didn't have any on hand the gel worked fine. I upped the cocoa because it didn't seem chocolatey enough to me, lol! And I ran out of vanilla for the frosting, but didn't miss it one bit! My birthday boy gives these 5 stars.

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