Strawberry Rhubarb Whoopie Pies

Last weekend, I spent time with visiting family who were heading home from a trip to my hometown area of the country.  As a special treat, my cousin made a strawberry rhubarb dessert for us all.  I looooove rhubarb.  Most of the delicious things I remember eating from my childhood involved rhubarb in some way.  The dessert brought with it a powerful urge in me to make something tasty from rhubarb.

Now, some of you may think I am being a snob, but the “rhubarb” in the part of the country where I live now just doesn’t measure up.  It’s not the same, and it doesn’t taste right.  On one of my trips to the store, I purchased a large jar of strawberry rhubarb pie filling, and it’s been staring at me every time I open the pantry.  I tried some last night and I almost swooned, it was THAT GOOD.

Whoopie, indeed.

I have been wanting to make my own version of a whoopie pie for a long time.  All the whoopie pies I have tried have been almost sickeningly sweet for me, so I thought strawberry rhubarb + whoopie pie = success?

Well, I certainly made one heck of a whoopie pie, but I’m not sure that I’m pleased with the rhubarb flavor.  It’s there in the back somewhere when you bite into these savory/sweet whoopie pies … but this recipe is certainly a success on the strawberry front, and has just the right amount of sweetness.  Try it yourself and tell me what you think:

Strawberry Rhubarb Whoopie Pies

Makes about 3 dozen pies.  I experimented with size, and I came out with 35.

Ingredients:

For the pies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkling of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry rhubarb pie filling (I found mine in the baking aisle at my grocery store)
  • 1/8 cup cane sugar crystals, plus more for sprinkling

For the filling:

(I only frosted a few of them right away, so I made a small batch of filling.  Use more cream cheese and strawberries if you’re planning to frost them all at once.)

  • approx. 1/4 cup fresh strawberries, mashed*
  • 8 oz. container of strawberry flavored cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of cane sugar crystals

*This was really fun, I put some fresh strawberries in a plastic bag and grabbed my meat mallet.  What a good, tasty way to get out some early-morning aggression!  Or, if you’re of the tamer sort, you could pulse them in a food processor or blender.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Make the filling by combining the mashed strawberries, the strawberry cream cheese, and the sugar.  It will be speckled with fruit and a pretty, pale pink.  Store the filling in the refrigerator while you make the whoopie pies.

The filling for the whoopie pies. See the strawberry specks?

The one thing I heard from all the people I asked about whoopie pies was that it is important to sift the dry ingredients.  I sifted together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.

This was right before I added the cinnamon...

Next, cream the wet ingredients: beginning with the softened butter and the brown sugar.  Mix these together with an electric mixer until you get a smooth, brown frosting-like consistency.

Mmm. The start of something good...

Then add the vanilla and the egg.

Add the strawberry rhubarb pie filling and the dry ingredients alternating between the two.  It took me three batches of each.  After I poured the last batch of pie filling into the bowl, I added the lemon juice, and then mixed it.

Finally, at the very end, I added 1/8 cup cane sugar crystals and mixed them in the batter.

The finished whoopie pie batter.

When you are ready to bake, it’s best to use parchment paper to cover your baking pans.  Then, pipe the batter onto the paper using a plastic food storage bag or a pastry bag outfitted with a piping tip.  I also tried a tiny cookie scoop and experimented with two dollops and one dollop.  I actually liked one dollop better than two.

For comparison:

Here are some piped whoopie pies.

Here are dropped whoopie pies made with two scoops of batter. I liked the single scoop best.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.  The cakes should be firm on top.

All baked up and cooling. These were made from two scoops of batter.

Tip:  Don’t use your finger to test them like I did, or this happens:

Poor little dented whoopie pie. Sorry, but I guess you were destined to be a bottom half!

Allow to cool a bit and frost one pie with filling.  Press another pie on top, and viola!

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