Lemon Whoopie Pies with White Chocolate Lemon Buttercream

January 14, 2013

in Cookies,Recipes

Abby Dodge is one of the best bakers in the world.  I got to know her by baking my way through her dessert stories in Fine Cooking magazine, where she began as a recipe tester eighteen years ago. Abby has a flair for combining flavors and textures in unexpected but delicious ways and her recipes are foolproof.

In her new and delightful cookbook, Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets: 100 Delicious Desserts to Pick Up and Eat, published last year by The Taunton Press, Abby has come up with inventive takes on all sorts of cookies, macarons, pastries, mini cakes and pies, frozen treats, and even candies.

Every month on Abby’s blog she selects a recipe and invites readers to submit their own riffs on her main theme.  These baketogethers, as they’re called, unite members of the cyberspace baking community in an altogether human way, and it is fascinating to see the creativity that pours forth.

I got so excited about the baketogether idea that I plunged into Abby’s book and picked out a recipe to tweak instead of waiting for Abby’s selection.  Generous soul that Abby is, she insisted I post my version of the recipe (Abby’s Orange Whoopie Pies with Orange-Honey Buttercream became, in my hands, Lemon Whoopie Pies with White Chocolate Lemon Buttercream).  Whoopie pies are sandwiches of two tender cakes enclosing a soft creamy filling. The flavoring possibilities are endless and can be tailor made to individual tastes.

So what if this is a baketogether in reverse?  I’ll just link my post to her blog, and she’ll link hers to mine and we’ll see what happens.

My first trial resulted in a dough that was a tad too wet and difficult to scoop into balls.  When I wrote about Abby about it, she made her recipe again and even sent me photographs to show me the recipe worked just fine.  Why was my dough wetter than hers?  The culprit turned out to be my measuring cup!  My ancient glass heatproof cup measured on the generous side.  So instead of using it to measure ½ cup of buttermilk the recipe called for, I measured 8 tablespoons of buttermilk and the dough turned out exactly as it should.

And here’s the dough I scooped onto a silicone-lined baking sheet with a 2-tablespoon capacity ice cream scoop.

I decided to make my whoopies twice the size of Abby’s because I’m a tall guy who likes big things.  Even so, these pies are not huge.  They’re about 3 inches across and fit nicely in the hand.  Here’s a sheet of the baked cakes.

To fill them, you turn half the cakes upside down and top them with a  big gob of the white chocolate buttercream.

After covering the buttercream with the flat side of a partnered cake, you press gently until the buttercream reaches the edge of the cakes.  All that’s left is to decorate the whoopie pies, and you’re done.

So here’s the recipe.  Please let me know what you think and send me your own variations on the theme.  Perhaps then we can all yell whoopee!


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