Coconut whoopie pies! (Yep, they are good enough to warrant an exclamation point. Recipe after the cut.)
A few months ago my friend Amanda and I made cupcakes with mini pumpkin pies in them (inspired by a recipe on Bake It In A Cake). I had a ton of pumpkin pie filling left over, so later that week my friend Lauren and I decided to use it to make pumpkin whoopie pies. Figuring out the recipe required some serious math skills since we were working with pie filling, not just pumpkin puree … Anyway, by some miracle they came out perfectly — when we peeled the cakelike cookies off the wax paper, they were like perfect, fluffy, pillowy clouds.
However, this was before I had my amazing batter scoops, so some of them didn’t look so pretty. In fact, Lauren and I decided that a few of them sort of resembled dog poo. See where I’m going with this? Dog poo … fluffy clouds … poo clouds … Owen Pallett’s record He Poos Clouds… Get it?! And — so this whole post isn’t about my having the maturity of a 13-year-old (just most of it) — they really are a great match for the delicacy of Pallett’s music. A little more on that below.
So here are our whoopie pies, Take Two, except this time they’re pretty, they’re lighter, and they do not look like poo. Let me tell you, these are heavenly, and despite how insanely sweet they are, I promise you won’t be able to eat just one.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
If we’ve ever talked about music, there’s a good chance I’ve mentioned my love for Owen Pallett (until about a year ago, he performed as Final Fantasy). He’s a Canadian singer/songwriter/composer who has arranged music for and/or played with a bazillion artists (including Grizzly Bear, Beirut, the Pet Shop Boys, Mika, he’s written string arrangements for and played with Arcade Fire…), and his most recent record Heartland, his first under his own name instead of FF, was my favorite of 2010. A lot of his earlier music is rooted in delicately looped violin parts and vocals, with other orchestration on and off; Heartland has plenty of that, but it’s bigger and more produced, with more electronic elements and layers of vocals.
Owen Pallett on MySpace
(cake/cookies + buttercream frosting)
The cookies (adapted from and then I do the dishes)
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c coconut milk
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• In a medium-sized bowl, mix flour through salt.
• In a large bowl, mix the egg, oil and sugar.
• Add the dry ingredients, buttermilk and coconut milk to the wet ingredients, alternating between flour mixture and milk, until combined.
• Drop the batter onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and leave room for them to spread. I used a small batter scoop (you’d be surprised how often it comes in handy!) so they’re all close in size, but you could also use a measuring teaspoon.
• Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the border of the cookies is slightly turning a light brown.
• Carefully pull them off the parchment paper and cool on a cooling rack. They should feel light and fluffy — that’s right, sort of like little clouds.
1/2 c butter, softened
About 2 c powdered sugar, sifted (I do think you’ll be OK if you don’t sift it)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
About 6 tablespoons of coconut milk
About 1.5 cups of shredded coconut
• Cream the butter with an electric mixer.
• Add the sugar and beat at low speed until combined.
• Add the vanilla and a couple tablespoons of coconut milk and beat at medium speed. Depending on the consistency, add more coconut milk and/or more powdered sugar if needed. Mine ended up a bit lighter than a regular buttercream, but not quite as light as whipped cream. Do it to your liking. If you want a stronger coconut flavor in the frosting itself, I recommend adding a little bit of coconut extract, as the milk didn’t flavor it much.
• Add about 1/4 c of shredded coconut to the frosting and mix with a spoon or spatula.
• Put the rest of the shredded coconut in a bowl.
• Divide the cookies into pairs; ones that are close in size if you can.
• Scoop a heaping tablespoon of frosting onto one side of the sandwich (I used a 1.5” cookie scoop), LIGHTLY press the other on top of it (seriously, be careful — the frosting will all come squirting out the sides! Granted, that will absolutely happen when you go to eat them…but at least make them look pretty first!), then roll the sides of it in the coconut flakes.