There’s only a few days left until Christmas. Only a couple more days of madness and mayhem at work. Just a short amount of time until I can finally stop yelling “Don’t eat the tree!” at the cat. And only one more cookie to go before I can finally bake something else! I’ve been baking nothing but cookies for nearly a month now, and to be completely honest, I’m starting to get a little sick of them. All the mixing and scooping and rolling into balls... Give me a piping bag and some buttercream! Luckily, these Gingerbread Whoopie Pies were a welcome relief to the cookie monotony.
More cake-like than cookie, but more cookie-like than cake, Whoopie Pies walk a fine line between categories. But wherever you think they should fall, I think we’d all be able to agree—these are downright delicious. Spicy, moist gingerbread cake/cookie (cakie? cooke?). Soft, creamy light lemon filling. They’re so tasty. I don’t really want to share these. I want to keep them and lick all the frosting out of each and every one. But I won’t. They’re going to work with me tonight. But trust me-- the lemon marshmallow cream cheese filling sounded really weird to me too and I almost didn’t use it, but I’m so glad I did. It’s not an overpowering punch of lemon. It’s very light and subtle, pairing well with the tang of the cream cheese to offset the spice of the cake. But beware, it’s a bit runny and squishes out of the sides when you bite into it, so I suggest leaving them in the fridge to set up until you’re ready to serve them.
Adapted from Pink Parsley, King Arthur Flour, and McCormick
Makes 2 dozen
3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
¾ cup molasses
¾ cup buttermilk
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow cream
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, beating until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Reduce speed to low. Add in half the dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Add the molasses, then the remaining dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add buttermilk, mixing until just combined.
4. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, a heaping tablespoon, or a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, place tablespoons of dough onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating halfway through until cookies are cooked through and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 9 to 12 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
5. While cookies are cooling, make filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together marshmallow cream, butter, cream cheese, and lemon extract until well blended. Place cream filling in a piping bag fitted with a large star or round tip. To assemble whoopie pies, pipe about a tablespoon of filling onto the flat side of one cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing down slightly to spread filling. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store between layers of wax or parchment paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.