Spiced Whoopie Pies with Honey Marshmallow Filling
Chef Kathy Casey
Kathy Casey Food Studios
Not technically pies, we’re being a little flexible with the definition since Whoopie Pies are always a hit with customers. They’re typically made of two round pieces of cake sandwiching a sweet creamy filling. They’re a true Americana dessert, although their origin is unclear—New England and Pennsylvania both claim it as theirs. Chef Kathy Casey gives this recipe a different twist by using carrot cake for the carriers enclosing a honey marshmallow cream filling.
3/4 cup (6 oz.) butter, softened
1/2 cup (4 oz.) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (6 oz.) honey
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup (6 oz.) shredded carrots
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts
Honey marshmallow filling
3/4 cup honey
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pasteurized egg whites
6 each gold or bronze gelatin sheets
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1. For carrot cake carriers, preheat oven to 350 F. In large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar. Add honey; continue whipping until creamed. Add eggs, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
2. Sift together flour, spices, baking soda and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to batter; beat on low speed until well mixed. Add carrots, oats, cranberries and walnuts. Mix again on low speed until just combined.
3. Line sheet pans with parchment paper. Portion out batter with a #20 scoop, leaving at least 3 inches between each mound and making 20 scoops. Bake 12 to 13 minutes or until tops feel set and test done. Cool and store, uncovered, at room temperature until ready to fill. (Best to fill the next day.)
4. For filling, prepare a pastry bag fitted with a large plain pastry tip; set aside.
Fill a bowl with ice water and add gelatin sheets. Soften or “bloom” the gelatin for 5 to 10 minutes, then gently squeeze out excess water. Set aside.
5. Meanwhile, combine honey, sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Once dissolved, cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 230 F. Continue to cook (watching carefully) while you prepare egg whites.
6. When syrup reaches 230 F., start beating egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until firm peaks form. As soon as the honey mixture reaches 240 F, slowly pour mixture into egg whites with the mixer running on medium speed.Once you have added ¾ of the honey mixture, add bloomed gelatin sheets, followed by remaining honey mixture.
7. Increase mixer to high speed. Continue to beat marshmallow mixture about 10 to 13 minutes with a bowl of ice under the mixing bowl to help cool the mixture. The mixture will increase in volume and start to thicken. Once thickened, fill the pastry bag with some of the marshmallow mixture. Allow mixture to rest for 2 minutes before piping onto whoopie pies.
8. Divide the whoopies into two sections for tops and bottoms. Quickly fill whoopie piess so marshmallow does not get too set by piping a swirl of honey marshmallow on each bottom. Cover with a cake top to form a sandwich. Let set for 4 hours before serving. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Photo courtesy of National Honey Board