The Whoopie Pies were to be of the traditional chocolate with marshmallow filling variety. The cookies came out really well, but the filling, not so much. They were quite tasty but a little too sticky and gooey, so to speak. So, LP and I each set out to find the perfect filling recipe for Whoopie Pies. I went the homemade Fluff route, which was a great success, but sadly, since I have no photos as proof of that, you'll have to take my word for it until I decide to make some again. LP went the cream cheese frosting route and, I have to say, she won the Whoopie Pie filling challenge hands down. She came up with this Orange Almond Cream variation and I just had to steal it from her. I'm sure she won't mind, right LP?
Orange Almond Cream Whoopie Pies
For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Zest of 1 to 2 oranges (depending on their size and how orangey you want the cookies)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
For the Almond Cream filling:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
5 tbsp butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 to 3/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another bowl, mix the egg, oil, orange zest, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the buttermilk, until all the ingredients are well combined.
Drop the dough, a teaspoonful at a time, onto the prepared baking sheet, taking care to leave enough space between the cookies as they expand a little while baking, but not too much. Also try to keep the shape as round and even as possible, it makes it easier to match the cookies after they are baked. Bake the cookies about 8 minutes, until they are slightly golden around the edges, but do not over bake them, you want them to be tender, not hard. Once the cookies are done baking, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare the filling. In the bowl of your mixer of choice, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and the butter until light and well blended. Add the sifted powdered sugar, in batches, until the filling is perfectly smooth. Add the almond extract, mix well.
To fill the cookies, you can use a spoon or a pastry bag to spread some of the filling onto one of the cookies and then sandwich another cookie on top. Fill and sandwich cookies until all the cookies are matched. You might have some filling leftover, it makes a nice frosting on cupcakes or muffins.