I have a strange relationship with red velvet.
I may be sounding like a broken record...but I can barely remember what I did yesterday let alone what I have written about in this blog so onward...
Red velvet seems to be the popular favorite. But really, I mean really it is just a little bit of vanilla and a little bit of chocolate with a lot of red food coloring.
Don't get me wrong...I love vanilla. I love chocolate. But I want a strong vanilla or strong chocolate and not a watered down version of both thrown together with an overpowering flavor of food coloring.
If it is done right red velvet can be good. The cream cheese frosting is the kicker if you ask me.
I just think people think it is more special than it really is because it is red and titled "velvet"...wherever that comes from.
So there is my little disclaimer. Perhaps it lends to why I found these to be decent....and not great. It must be me because this recipe is from Brown Eyed Baker and she is a reputable source for delectable sweets. These were also a hit with the red velvet lovers of the crowd...So I accept it...it's me.
You win some, you lose some.
For the whoopies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 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 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
For the cream cheese filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and the red food coloring and beat until just blended.
Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and remaining ½ cup buttermilk and beat until completely combined.
Using a spoon (or a medium cookie scoop, which is what I used), 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 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 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 #12 Wilton 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.