I have a thing for pink. Which is a little odd since pink isn’t officially my favorite color. In reality my favorite color is purple. Growing up my love for all things purple didn’t just apply to sneakers and crayons it also carried over into the food choices I made. Of course there aren’t really that many purple kid-friendly foods that aren’t complete junk. I love eggplant now and harbor an obsessive fascination with purple cauliflower but put a plate of those vegetables down in front of “Little Erin” and a very vocal Kraft Macaroni and Cheese tantrum would have immediately erupted. So I loved grape gum, soda, and popsicles but not purple jelly beans because they were usually licorice flavored. Yuck!
It appears that my affinity for pink coincided with my burgeoning love for cooking. The more comfortable I began to feel in the kitchen the more gadgets and gizmos I coveted and once I obtained the ultimate in pink kitchen couture, my pink KitchenAid stand mixer, the two topics became practically synonymous with one another. So now I have a kitchen full of pink accessories and a blog full of pink recipes.
I played with the original Strawberry Whoopie Pies recipe a bit adding vanilla to the batter and opting not to use their filling recipe. I like my whoopie pies to have a center that is much more icing like in flavor. In the end the filling was the best part of these puffy pink pies. I think it would taste phenomenal thickly slathered on a chocolate cake. As an added bonus, for those of you who eschew food coloring, the vibrant pink that the pureed berries create is completely natural. As an aside, the cookie part of the recipe used oil. Next time I would like to try substituting butter for the oil. I think it would give the cookies a slightly better, and perhaps more firm, texture.
PS: Congratulations to Lindsey for winning a copy of The School of Essential Ingredients in last week’s giveaway! Stay tuned! There are always more giveaways in the works. In addition, if you haven’t already done so, please consider becoming a fan of Erin Cooks on Facebook.
Strawberry Whoopie Pies
Originally published on Oprah.com (Strawberry Whoopie Pies)
Yields: 10 large pies
1 cup (about 5 ounces) stemmed and halved strawberries
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 cups light brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 sticks of unsalted butter; softened
1 cup of pureed strawberries
To make cookies: Put strawberries in a food processor and pulse in short bursts just until they are chopped into small pieces (about 4 to 5 pulses), and set aside. (Be careful not to puree them). Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl, and set aside.
Put brown sugar and oil in a large bowl and mix well, using the back of a spoon to break up any lumps in sugar. Whisk in chopped strawberries, vanilla, and yogurt until combined, then whisk in eggs, one at a time, just until combined. Fold in flour mixture in two parts, being careful not to overwork the batter. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop heaping mounds of batter onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet (Erin’s Note: I used a silpat) to form each cookie, spacing dollops about 2 inches apart. Working in batches, bake until cookies are set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove cookies from oven; cool completely.
To make filling: Puree strawberries in a food processor until smooth (about 15 seconds); set aside. Cream together the butter, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla. Then add the pureed strawberries. Combine until smooth. The filling should be fairly thick. Add more sugar if the mixture is too thin.
To assemble: Generously frost the flat side of half of the cookies, then top each with an unfrosted cookie to form sandwiches. Transfer to a platter and serve.