Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mostly-Authentic Vegan Whoopie Pies

First of all, let's get one thing straight.  I'm not vegan.  I mean, bacon cheeseburgers are sort of the base layer of my food pyramid, if you know what I mean, and I do really believe that Everything is Better With Butter.  However, I have friends who are vegan, and one of them has become a regular guest at our weekly The Wire Night.  I've had to start stretching my baking muscles, lest she feel left out of our weekly snack food indulgences.

Whoopie pies are also a big part of my food pyramid, some weeks (usually of the PMS variety.)  This week, I wanted to whip up some whoopie pies for my guests, but since they are full of butter and milk (that must be the whoopie part) I had to make a few alterations.

As you can see, they ended up a bit taller and smaller in diameter than the Authentic Whoopie Pies that were my starting off point, but other than that, they are a pretty close approximation of the original.  Hopefully my guests will all like them.

Vegan Whoopie Pies
(makes 13-14 assembled pies, allowing for ample sampling of batter and filling)

For the cakey part:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp milk substitute (soy, almond, etc.  I used Coconut milk beverage from So Nice)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Blend that together and then add:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 5 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Drop by tablespoonful onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 F for 8 min.  Test for doneness with a toothpick (it should come out clean.)  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Cream Filling:
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (the real stuff in a can)

Beat this in a stand mixer for a looong time - about 5 to 10 min.  This will start out looking like a sludgy mess and you will think you did something wrong (or that veganizing this recipe didn't work worth beans) but if you are patient, eventually it will turn into an amazing fluffy creamy filling.

After the cakey bits are cooled, you can assemble the whoopie pies by sandwiching (lots and lots of) filling between two cakey bits.  You are meant to have to lick it from the sides when you take a bite, so don't be afraid to really pack it in there.

They store just fine at room temperature, and are great out of the fridge.  The conventional ones freeze really well and I don't see why these ones wouldn't too, but I haven't tried it yet, and frankly, I doubt I'll have enough left over tonight to bother.

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