Thursday, December 27, 2012

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from a Cake Mix

I absolutely love all the baking that goes on around the holidays. Remember these and these?
Well, on Christmas Eve I was in charge of bringing a dessert to my in-law's house. I thought I'd make Pignoli Cookies like a good Italian daughter-in-law. But, one batch of Pignoli batter only makes about 2 dozen cookies, so I wanted to make something else.
I've always wanted to make whoopie pies. They're touted as being like cupcakes (which I happen to LOVE even more than cookies) but there's a better icing-to-cake ratio. YUM! 
If you know me and my baking by now, you know I love to check out a dozen different recipes for the same thing and then take bits and pieces of each one to create the perfect recipe. The whoopie pies were no different. I wanted to make red velvet ones because they're red and I thought it would be cute for Christmas, and I wanted to start with a cake mix to make the whole thing a bit easier. I knew I'd do a homemade frosting though, to give it that "real" feel.
So, here's my awesome Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from a Cake Mix

1 cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, water and oil.  Beat together for approx. 2 minutes.

On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, scoop out batter into round mounds.  I used a teaspoon and heaped my scoops.  Use the back of a spoon to round out scoops of batter into perfect circles.

Bake for 7 minutes.  Cool completely.

1 stick of butter, softened
8 oz of cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 For the icing, in your KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar (start with 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, then add more if necessary for thickness).  Whip for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Scoop into a ziptop bag with the corner cut off to a 1/2 inch opening.

To fill, pipe icing onto the bottom cookie (wrong side up), then top with another cookie (right side up). Be generous with the frosting! It makes all the difference.

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