April 30, 2014

Peanut Butter and Cocoa Pebbles Whoopie Pies

I... am not moving today.

Ugh, that's so not how I expected today's post to go. I thought I'd be all bubbling with excitement after closing at my attorney's office yesterday, doing the final walkthrough with my realtor, waiting for the seller's closing so I could finally have my house, promising you a virtual tour on Friday's Stuff and Things post.

Nope. I have to wait two more weeks. Silver lining? I had planned to take a week off so I could move and paint and do all the things I have to do while it's still empty. Now I'm taking off the week before Memorial Day, so I get an extra day on my vacation for free. Woohoo. -.-

I've decided I will bring some form of baked good to the closing, since apparently my house buying experience has not been typical (why am I not surprised?) and all my various peoples have been super helpful and patient with me, and I've yet to meet most of them in person. So yeah, that calls for cupcakes.
Or maybe whoopie pies, since whoopie pies are one of my favorite desserts of all time, and many New Jerseyans don't really know what a whoopie pie is. (Every time someone slaps some frosting between too cookies and calls it a whoopie pie, a little piece of me dies).

This is a pretty standard whoopie pie recipe: fluffy, dark chocolate cakes; marshmallow fluff filling. Add some Cocoa Pebbles and some peanut butter and I'm sold.
The cakes themselves are a little flat in the flavor department-- not bad by any means, but I don't usually go all shortening in my whoopie pies, and I could really taste that difference. But when combined with the filling, it's not something you really notice. And I took the filling up a notch by using White Chocolate Wonderful instead of regular peanut butter. It adds that extra note of flavor that I was missing in the cakes, and the light sweetness of the white chocolate contrasts really well with the dark chocolate cakes without taking over.

This is most definitely a solid whoopie pie recipe, great for introducing to people who think 2 cookies and some frosting are a real whoopie pie. Plus, Cocoa Pebbles and peanut butter? That totally makes it breakfast food.
Peanut Butter and Cocoa Pebbles Whoopie Pies
Yield: 18 whoopie pies

For the cakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup ground Cocoa Pebbles cereal
½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
⅛ tsp. salt
1¼ buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter (I used White Chocolate Wonderful)
½ cup Fluff (or other marshmallow creme)
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, and ground Cocoa Pebbles. In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, beat the shortening at medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture.

Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, drop tablespoons of the batter on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, about 2½ inches apart. Bake about 10 minutes, or until the edges are firm. Cool completely on wire racks.

For the filling: beat the butter, peanut butter, and marshmallow Fluff together until smooth. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Sandwich generously between two cooled cakes.

Recipe by Kristina Vanni
*Disclaimer: I was provided with free samples of Post Cocoa Pebbles Cereal so that I could feature this recipe. I received no other compensation for this post. All opinions are, as always, my own.*