We all show our love for our significant other’s in different ways. For me? Well, that’s baking. I pour my heart and soul into whatever I’m baking on a given weekend, and February 14th is no exception. Also, I am such a sucker for themed desserts. These heart-shaped whoopie pies seemed like such the perfect Valentines Day dessert. Whoopie pie is literally defined as a ‘baked good that can be considered a pie, cake, or cookie.’ If you fell in love after reading that sentence, you are not alone my friend. You are not alone.
I had to scour the internet for these chocolate roll-out cookies. The trick was finding a cookie that was on the softer side once baked, otherwise all that delicious peanut-butter cream cheese buttercream would have been all over the floor versus sandwiched between cookies headed for your mouth. Crunchy, hard cookies have a time and a place but it is most certainly not part of the whoopie pie equation.
Goody bags, heart ribbon and pink, red and white sprinkles also made an appearance because I really just can’t help myself. Also I don’t care how old you are, everyone loves and deserves a valentine. These ended up being the perfect finish to my fiancé and I’s annual burgers + fries Valentine’s day tradition. We’re not really into elaborate, over-the-top V-day celebrations, and I so happen to have an everlasting obsession with french fries so we consider it a win/win. Tell me, do you have any Valentines Day traditions?
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (225 grams) lightly salted butter, softened (Deb note: I don’t really see “lightly salted” much these days, so I used one stick salted, one stick unsalted)
1 1/2 (300 grams) cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
10 ounces (285 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (115 grams, 4 ounces or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups (600 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup (170 grams) smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.)
Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
Scoop frosting into a ziploc bag or pastry bag with a round or star tip. If the former, cut medium-sized hole in ziplock bag. Spread frosting all around cookie, then place second cookie on top. Voila! Instagram and enjoy.