Tired of the cupcake? Macaroons too much work? Try a Whoopie Pie, a cross between strawberry shortcake and a muffin. The cake bit of these whoopie pies is soft and chewy. Most of the sweetness comes from the filling. The iconic chocolate ones with the marshmallowy filling are great, but during strawberry season, these are even better.
Makes 9 large or 24 mini pies.
100g hulled strawberries
300 g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200g light brown sugar
75ml corn or vegetable oil
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 180C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl mash the strawberries into small pieces (not pureed) and set aside. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and oil. Mix well, breaking up any lumps in the sugar. Mix in the chopped strawberries and buttermilk until combined, beat in the egg until combined. Fold in the flour mixture in two parts, being careful not to overwork the batter. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
Drop 18 large or 48 small scoops of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2-inches apart (I made the big ones). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes for large, or 8 to 10 mins for mini-whoopies until the tops feel firm.
Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Strawberry buttercream filling:
50ml unstrained strawberry puree (about 80g unhulled berries)
90 g soft butter
500 g icing sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the filling, press the strawberries through a sieve and put the resulting puree in a large bowl. Add the butter, powdered sugar, lemon and vanilla extract and beat until everything is well combined.
To assemble the whoopie pies, place a generous dollop of buttercream on the flat side of a cookie and gently press it together with the flat side of a second cookie. Repeat until they are all filled and dust the tops with a little sprinkling of icing sugar. Any leftover buttercream will keep for a week or so in a covered container in the fridge.