I enjoyed several days this past week working with a good friend in her pastry shop. Among the many things we made were whoopie pies....red velvet and pumpkin spice. I had of course heard of whoopie pies...and seen pictures...but I have to admit I had never eaten one (much less made one). Now I have done both...and I came away inspired. The original version of a whoopie pie is chocolate with a marshmallow-like filling. But they can obviously be just about any flavor as long as they include round, cakey cookies and a fluffy filling.
The whoopie pies that we made were minis, but the originals are very large (and rich)....sort of a two-fisted type of dessert. I have always thought of them as kid food. A platter of them conjures up images of sticky, crumb-covered fingers and matching frosting-smeared cheeks. But now, having eaten them, I think they would make great picnic—or tailgating—fare for adults. They are cake and frosting without the need of a fork.
At the end of my busy week of baking I came face to face with an overripe banana taking up space on my kitchen counter. I had been aware of its presence for several days and had pretty much decided that when I had time I was going to do what I almost always do when I find myself with only one overripe banana....make a batch of a favorite cookie: Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk cookies. As I mentioned when I posted the recipe a couple of years ago, one of the things I like about these cookies is their old-fashioned cake-like quality. After a week that included whoopie pies, I realized as I looked at my banana that I had the makings of a Banana Walnut Whoopie Pie. I have never seen a recipe for whoopie pies made with chunky cookies...so it's possible I have committed whoopie pie sacrilege... But I'm not too concerned. They were delicious.
Banana Chocolate Walnut Whoopie Pies
Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Cream Cheese Filling
Make and bake the cookies as directed. If you like, chill the dough for an hour before baking—this will give the cookies a shape that is a bit more mounded. You should have 36 cookies.
Make the frosting as directed (or substitute your favorite cream cheese or plain vanilla frosting).
Pair up the cookies so that the halves of each sandwich will be the same size. Pipe (or spoon) about an ounce (about two tablespoons) of frosting in the center of the bottom side of 18 of the cookies.
Place another cookie on top of the frosting and gently press, forcing the frosting to flatten out and barely peek out from between the two cookies.
Makes 18 whoopie pies.