Saturday, July 23, 2011

Butterscotch Whoopie Pies

I had butterscotch ganache and frosting leftover from my Butterbeer cupcakes and considered just making another batch to use up those two ingredients until I came upon a recipe for Butterscotch meringue brownies.  Oh my goodness why didn't I think of it before??  What could be a more delicious combination than butterscotch and chocolate?  I was thinking of just making my own brownies and mixing in the ganache and topping it with the frosting and then thought "hey, I'm going to be cooped up in the house all day because of this 100+ degree weather, why not be a little more creative?"

That's where the inspiration for these whoopie pies came from.  Chris had a whoopie pie sundae months ago and I always thought it would be fun to make some homemade ones.  Well, that got put on the back burner, only to be reincarnated as what had the potential to be the most delicious whoopie pie ever.

I wanted to make up this recipe myself instead of using someone else's, so I started reading articles online in order to figure out how to incorporate cocoa powder into my recipe (I remembered reading somewhere about baking soda), which ended up leading me to another blog.  David Lebovitz, an expert on everything relating to chocolate and ice cream, cleared up some confusion between Dutch-processed cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder.  Cocoa beans are acidic in nature, and Dutch-processeing neutralizes the acidity from the cocoa beans, while natural cocoa powder has not been neutralized.  Therefore, in baking recipes, natural cocoa powder is paired with baking soda because it helps neutralize the cocoa and keep it from giving your confections a bitter taste (the more you know...).  The supermarket didn't have Dutch-processed powder, so I picked up some natural powder and a box of baking soda.

To modify my recipe, I removed some of the flour and replaced it with the cocoa powder and added equal parts of baking soda and powder.  I also decided to use buttermilk instead of regular milk because I have to use up that powdered buttermilk.  Plus I read it's supposed to give desserts a richer and sweeter taste so I figured why not.  What's wrong with making chocolate richer and sweeter?

See how the batter is coming up around the tip?
Leave the tip in the batter as you pipe.
The first batch that I had piped into the pan were pretty tiny when they entered the oven.  I was worried that the little chips would come out too small - that was until I turned on the oven light and saw how much they expanded.  Seriously, only pipe the batter into a circle less than 2" wide, they'll get much bigger in the oven.  Much, much bigger.  When piping the batter onto the sheet, keep the tip about 1/2" off of the mat.  As you squeeze the batter out of the bag it will come up and around the tip - do not pull the tip up.  If you want your circles bigger, continue to pipe into the circle of batter.

Once all of your little chips are baked and cooled, match them up according to size.  Affix another piping bag with the same tip (cleaned, of course) and fill with the butterscotch frosting.  Pipe the frosting onto the bottom side of one of the "chips" in the same manner that you piped the batter onto the baking mat.  Match the chip up with its pair and ta-da!  You have your whoopie pie.

They kind of look like roses, right? Right?
On a related note, I've recently fallen in love with this blog: Sweetapolita.  Her cakes are magical.  There is no other way to describe them.  She hosted a Mad Tea Party where she showcased these raspberry rose meringues (they're sitting in the crystal bowl).  What a brilliant and lovely idea.  I died.  So I might have practiced making those roses on the bottom of my chips when filling in my whoopie pies.

The cake was rich and delicious, and the butterscotch came through in the frosting.  Definitely do not skimp on the frosting when filling your whoopie pies and keep your whoopie pies small, there's less of a chance they'll break apart when handling.  Stick them in the fridge or freezer for a cold treat or top them with ice cream and drizzle chocolate sauce or extra butterscotch ganache over them.  The possibilities are endless!  These are so delicious and I can't wait to experiment with different flavor combinations.  Next step - macarons!  Well, at least once this heat/humidity dies down.

Butterscotch Whoopie Pies
Makes 12 pies

- 2 c flour
- 1/2 c natural cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 c unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2/3 c sugar
- 1 lg egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with a non-stick mat. 

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract and combine.  Add half of the dry ingredients, combine, then add half of the buttermilk.  Repeat.  Fold in the butterscotch ganache. 

Affix a piping bag with a Wilton #12 tip or other tip with a large hole.  Place a spoonful of batter into the bag and test how easily it can pipe – you do not want it dripping out of the tip but it should be relatively easy to pipe onto the mat.  Add flour and water to adjust the batter as necessary in order to get it to the correct consistency.  Fill the piping bag with batter and pipe batter onto non-stick mat, creating circles about 1” wide.  

Bake for 11 – 13 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling with frosting.  Match chips up by size, frost one side, and stick the two chips together.  

Source: Ali B original


  1. I love that whoopie pies have made become ever so popular these days. I mean you seriously can't go wrong with yummy cookies and filling. These look great and I like that you pipped the cookies. I will have to try these.

  2. @S.V. Thank you! They're easy and fun to make - I definitely recommend making them and maybe even experimenting with your own flavor combinations!

  3. Yum-chocolate with butterscotch filling! You can't go wrong there and it is surprising how little you see of recipes that combine these two flavors. Your pics look divine. Have a great weekend. Buzz!


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