Oftentimes chefs don’t want to cook another meal when they get home after an arduous 12-hour stretch behind the burners. But throwing together a comforting snack to help take the edge off the day is another proposition entirely. These scrumptious nibbles don’t require a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to make, but they’re worthy of winning a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge.
This week’s recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Whoopie Pies comes to us from vegan bakery Sticky Fingers.
Before you let negative preconceptions of vegan cuisine derail your interest, let us tell you from the bottom of hearts and bellies: These summery sweets are so good that you won’t miss the eggs or butter.
Strawberry Lemonade Whoopie Pies
Makes 12 large or 24 small whoopie pies
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (preferably Earth Balance)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp egg replacer (preferably Ener-G)
- ½ cup water
- Zest of one lemon
- 2/3 cup, plus 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled (fresh or frozen)
- ¼ cup, plus 2 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (preferably Earth Balance)
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream one cup of margarine and both cups of sugar with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and water.
- Add egg replacer and lemon zest to the sugar mixture and mix until well combined.
- Combine the 2/3 cup of lemon juice and vinegar and add to the mixture, alternating with the dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
- Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
- While they’re baking, you can make the homemade strawberry puree. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat strawberries on medium high heat, stirring constantly until they break down, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and blend with an electric hand emulsifier.
- Return to heat and cook down until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely before using.
- Now make the strawberry frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip shortening and the remaining 2 tbsp of margarine until completely combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Add the strawberry puree and mix until incorporated. Scrape the bottom of the bowl.
- On low speed, slowly add sugar a little at a time. Add the 1 ½ tsp of lemon juice and mix to combine. Scrape the bottom of the bowl, and mix on medium-high speed until all ingredients are combined and frosting is fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Now it’s time to assemble the whoopie pies. Transfer filling to a pastry bag. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of frosting on the flat side of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies.