Chocolate Whoopie Pies

adapted from: Dessert First

3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbl. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 c. packed light brown sugar

3/4 c. sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 c. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled 

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

2 c. buttermilk, room temperature

cream cheese filling or favorite filling recipe

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.  Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.  With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 4 or 5 minutes.  Add your eggs, one at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding the other egg.  Mix in the chocolate and vanilla, making sure to combine really well.  Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Make sure to let it mix thoroughly.

Heap the batter onto the baking sheets with a 1-ounce ice cream scoop.  Bake until the tops crack, 12-15 minutes or so.  Cool on a rack.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Spread 2 heaping Tablespoons of cream cheese filling onto half of the cakes.  Sandwich together with the other cake halves.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week and allow to come to room temperature 1 hour before serving.  Yield: 25-30 pies.  

Cream Cheese Filling:

2 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, room temperature

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. almond extract

5 c. powdered sugar

Cream the cream cheese, butter, salt and almond extract in a mixer on low speed with the whisk attachment.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl when necessary.  

Jenn's Notes: I cut both the cookie and the filling recipes in half.  I ended up with 26 cookies (13 sandwiches) and I had plenty of frosting to fill each cookie.  I used milk chocolate in the cookie instead of semisweet and I baked for exactly 12 minutes and they were perfect - very very soft.  Next time, I will try a different filling recipe.