I don’t mind baking cookies, as long as I'm not spending all day making them. So out came the cookie press for this romantic Valentine’s Day idea. It even comes with a “ahem” romantic suggestion.
The cookie press worked even better than I’d hoped for these mini whoopie pies and wow was it fast! I think each sheet took under a minute to press out. It was pure awesomeness. After a five minute bake, a short cool down, filling and a chocolate drizzle, I was still under an hour.
I can’t wait to try more "out of season" cookie press ideas. Now I just need a new motive.
This recipe was created for the California Strawberry Commission’s Romantic Valentine’s Day Contest. The deadline is Friday, so you still have time to enter . What are you waiting for? Hurry and get your stuff in! Though I’d love to win, I’d be happy if you won instead because I passed the word on.
See? I’m a good sharer. I only ask for fifty percent of your Amazon gift card. What? You aren’t a sharer too? Darn.
Champagne Kissed Whoopie Hearts
Strawberry soda works just as well, if not better, as a substitute for strawberry sparkling wine. This recipe utilizes a cookie press to make fast, perfectly shaped hearts.
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup strawberry flavored sparkling wine (or strawberry flavored soda)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1. Place the oven rack on the center shelf and preheat to 425 degrees. Place a heart shaped disk into a cookie press. Set out three cookie sheets, keeping them away from the oven to stay cool. Do not grease pans.
2. In a stand mixer bowl, beat together shortening, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, egg and yolk.
3. In a small bowl mix together wine or soda, baking power and baking soda. Immediately pour and mix into the batter. Add the flour and beat until just combined.
4. Load the press and press dough onto baking sheets 1-inch apart. Let the cookie press set for one second each before pulling it off the sheet. With your fingers, pat down the Y-shaped dough sticking up from the cookies.
5. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes until lightly golden brown on top. Watch closely toward the end so they don’t burn. Immediately move cookies to a cooling rack.
Fresh Strawberry Filling
The key to these cake-like cookies is to let them set up for several hours in the refrigerator before serving. The filling will soften the cookies and the strawberry flavor will further develop.
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup halved strawberries
1/3 cup marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 tablespoons strawberry flavored sparkling wine (or strawberry flavored soda)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of Salt
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
Puree the ingredients in a food processor for 1 minute stopping to scrape the bowl as needed. Pipe filling onto the back sides of half the cookies and top with a matching cookie. Dust cookies in powdered sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.
To melt chocolate: Place 1/2 cup of your favorite chocolate in a bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted and smooth. Place a small round tip into a piping bag and fill with warmed chocolate or drizzle with a spoon over cookies.
Makes about 48 mini whoopie pies
Note: If your dough won’t stick to your cookie sheets you can freeze the sheets for a few minutes and try again.
Recipes and photographs by Laura Flowers.