Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Banana Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Buttercream


Our family goes through "banana stages". Sometimes I can't buy them quick enough before they are devoured, but then there are times when no one will touch them for days. Right now with it being so hot, bananas don't last long on the counter unfortunately. So what's one to do with an abundance of ripe bananas? The most "logical" choice was to make banana whoopies. 

These little cakes are once again from the book "Whoopie Pies" by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell. I love looking through this book since it offers so many possibilities. There are many recipes for each, the pies and the fillings, but it is up to the baker to decide which flavor combinations to use to put it all together. The possibilities are endless, which makes this so much fun.

I decided to use a classic chocolate buttercream as the filling in my banana whoopies. The pies are quickly mixed up, and I loved the fact that this recipe incorporated some whole wheat flour. One suggestion the book offers is to use a tablespoon or two of flax meal or wheat germ, and I went ahead and added some wheat germ into the batter since I had it on hand. I figured this way I could justify how "healthy" they were.
Pecans are optional in this recipe, so I decided to forgo them this time though they would certainly make a great addition. The chocolate buttercream is a pretty basic recipe, so I decided to amp up the "health" factor and go with Hershey's Extra Dark Cocoa Powder. This made the filling less sweet but at the same time, more decadent and rich tasting.

This is comfort food at it's best. These little delicacies were gone in no time. My husband had to sneak a few out to his colleagues who loved them just as much as my kids did. Since the filling wasn't too sweet or too chocolaty, my husband enjoyed a few of them as well. Definitely a repeat recipe, but maybe next time I'll add the pecans and go with a cream cheese frosting, or a maple buttercream, or a ............ I guess you'll all have to wait and see what strikes my fancy the next time around!


Banana Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Buttercream
(adapted from "Whoopie Pies")
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

For the pies:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used stone ground organic)
2 tablespoons wheat germ (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

For the filling:
1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Extra Dark)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preparation:

For the pies: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees f. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together both flours, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, sugar, and vanilla until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until combined.

Add the bananas and the pecans (if using) and beat on medium for about 2 minutes, until completely combined. Add the flour mixture along with the wheat germ if using. Mix until combined.

Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at time for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet or at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

For the filling: In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and butter, starting on low and increasing to medium speed, until the mixture is crumbly, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt and beat on high until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Assembling the whoopie pies: Spread filling onto the flat side of one cake using a knife or spoon. Top with another cake, flat-side down. Repeat with the rest of the cakes and filling.
Alternatively, you can use a pastry bag with a round or star tip to pipe the filling onto the cakes, which will give you a smoother, neater presentation.

11 comments:

  1. I can tell just by looking at these that my family will love them. The grandson's visit in August and these would be a perfect treat for them. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  2. My bananas are ripening so fast in the heat too. What a great use for them! I've been wanting to make whoopie pies for a while now. Yours look great :)

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  3. wow che meraviglia!!!complimenti!!

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  4. Mary - I have two boys (three if I count my husband) and they loved these

    baking serendipity - whoopie pies are fun and they actually travel well wrapped in a little plastic wrap. My teenager loves taking them along to school.

    Federica - Spero che questo sia il modo corretto di dirlo ma sei troppo gentile

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  5. What scrumptious little treats! I love the banana and chocolate combo! My bananas just seem to liquefy in this heat.

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  6. Oh my gosh....these are incredible! I love the idea of a soft banana cookie sandwiched with chocolate. What a fantastic recipe!

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  7. The combination of dark chocolate and banana sounds divine.

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  8. holy cow, i need to be eating one of these right now

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  9. Mmmm, those look delish! I love bananas with chocolate.

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  10. sound yummy like the extra dark!

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  11. I bet these would be AWESOME dipped in peanut butter!

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