Back to our regular scheduled programming. Someone (me) may have jumped the gun on the candy bar tart – it’s the lure of caramel.
For this week, it’s banana whoopie pies! It wouldn’t be a Baked book without at least one whoopie pie recipe. Make these full-sized, or as fun minis, your choice.
Banana Whoopie Pies
Yield: 15 to 20 whoopie pies
For the Banana Whoopies
3 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3⁄4 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1⁄2 bananas, mashed (about 1⁄2 cup)
2 large eggs
For the Milk Chocolate Swiss Meringue
5 large egg whites
1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, melted and cooled
For the Assembly
Dried banana chips (optional)
Sliced fresh bananas (optional)
Make the Banana Whoopies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir the brown sugar and oil together (you might have to use your hands to break up the larger chunks of brown sugar). Add the sour cream and bananas and whisk until combined. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.
Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you fold.
Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of the dough about 1 inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Transfer the pans to wire racks. Let the cookies cool completely on the pans.
Make the Milk Chocolate Swiss Meringue
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar together. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl). Heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and the color is milk white, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and, starting slowly, increase the speed to medium-high; beat until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and beat on medium-high speed (again starting slowly at first) until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. If the buttercream looks like it is separating, don’t worry; it will eventually come together. Add the salt and vanilla and beat for 5 seconds to combine. Gently fold in the chocolate until the mixture is even in color.
Assemble the Banana Whoopie Pies
Turn half of the cooled cookies flat side up. Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, or a tablespoon, drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of a cookie. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used.
Place a banana chip or a slice of fresh banana directly on top and in the center of each cookie if you like. Skewer the chip or banana slice and most of the cookie with a toothpick, hors d’oeuvre style. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving.
The whoopie pies will keep in the refrigerator on a parchment-lined baking sheet, tightly covered, for up to 3 days (though they taste best if eaten within 2 days). Bring the whoopie pies to room temperature before serving.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.