Every week in The Hipster’s Cookbook, Meghan Bongartz teaches you how to make great food for not a lot of money.
In case you haven’t heard, America was recently faced with a great tragedy: Hostess, the company that brought us such gems as Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Ding Dongs, has shut its doors. I tried a Twinkie for the first time over the summer and would still like that space in my stomach back, so I’m not overly upset, but everyone else seems to care and I’m trying to sympathize. Especially since this means that the Mayans were right and the world really is going to end on December 21, seeing as the one food that would have survived the apocalypse is no longer being produced.
In all seriousness, we probably haven’t seen the end of Twinkies. I’m sure that some other company will buy the rights to sell cream-filled cakes packed with enough preservatives to survive the heat death of the universe. In the meantime, though, you can make whoopie pies. These treats are part cake, part cookie, and all cream filled, sugary goodness. They also contain Marshmallow Fluff and vegetable shortening, so they’re almost as unhealthy as Hostess snacks. I know that vegetable shortening is gross, but I’ve tried using all butter for this recipe and it just doesn’t work, so you have to use the shortening. You should also make sure to crush your graham crackers very, very finely, leaving no larger crumbs at all, or purchase a box of actual crumbs (yes, they sell those) instead of a box of graham crackers. This recipe actually contains three recipes, but combining them in the end is the easiest part.
S’Mores Whoopie Pies
To create a whoopie pie, spread chocolate ganache evenly over the bottom of one whoopie cake and marshmallow cream over the bottom of a second cake. Press the two cakes together with the ganache and marshmallow cream facing inward, and voila!
1 ½ cups Marshmallow Fluff
1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1) In a medium bowl, beat the Marshmallow Fluff and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy and completely combined, about 3 minutes.
2) Add the confectioners’ sugar in two parts, and the vanilla along with the second addition, beating at low speed until combined.
8oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1) Place the chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl and set aside. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream and butter until the butter is melted and the cream is just beginning to bubble.
2) Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate in the bowl and let sit without stirring for 5 minutes.
3) Add the vanilla and gently stir the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
4) Let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours or refrigerate about 30 minutes, until a spreadable consistency is reached. If you make this ahead of time and refrigerate for longer than 30 minutes, you may need to let it sit at room temperature again to warm up.
Graham Cracker Whoopie Cakes
1 ½ cups finely crushed graham crackers
1 cup flour
1 ¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
5 tbs unsalted butter
4 tbs vegetable shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup buttermilk
2 tbs milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt.
3) With electric mixer, beat together butter, shortening, and brown sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat until combined.
4) In a small bowl, combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar. Add half the milk mixture to the batter along with half of the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and repeat with remaining milk mixture and dry ingredients. Add the vanilla and beat on medium speed until completely combined.
5) Use a spoon to drop a rounded tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheet, spaced evenly at least two inches apart Bake 9-12 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. If you have more than one baking pan, that’s awesome, but don’t put more than one in the oven at the same time with this recipe – it makes the heat distribute poorly, and the cakes won’t rise as nicely.