Saturday, April 24, 2010

Banana Whoopie Pies

I had a few bananas left over from last week's chocolate chip banana bread so I decided to try out a recipe I found for banana whoopie pies.  The cookies were much lighter than I had expected and the cream cheese filling was the perfect bit of tang to top it all off.  All in all I found this recipe to be quite refreshing and a nice addition to the early spring recipe collection.  I added about one tablespoon too much of the milk to the filling mixture, so I found it a bit difficult to assemble the whoopies.  I made sure everyone ate them right away instead of letting them sit and watching the filling ooze one objected!

Banana Whoopie Pies
adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
3 large bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

*1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp milk as needed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 
*(Generally when a recipe calls for cream cheese I use Neufchatel- it's cream cheese but with 1/3 less fat and the same great taste as regular cream cheese) 


For the Cookie
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees  F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, and salt until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and banana and mix together.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Whisk together the flour and baking soda then add to the banana mixture.  Mix until evenly combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Scoop the dough by a quarter cup (for larger cookies) or heaping tablespoon (for smaller cookies) and place on the baking sheet.  Allow plenty of space between the cookies as they will spread out while baking.

Bake for 14 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched and the edges are a light golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Filling
Beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  Add just enough milk to make the mixture spreadable.  Be careful not to add too much milk.  Stir in the walnuts.  

To Assemble
Spread the bottom of one cookie with 2 Tbsp of the filling.  Place another cookie on top of the filling, bottom side down. 

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