Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Swiss Vanilla Filling

This recipe was adapted from Baked Explorations. 
Ingredients:
For the Chocolate Cookies:
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (2.18 oz) dark cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli)
  • 2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) hot water
  • 2 cups (15.32 oz) light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl oz) canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) buttermilk, shaken
  • Swiss vanilla filling (recipe below)

To Make the Chocolate Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Pour the hot coffee and hot water over the cocoa mixture and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
  4. In another medium bowl, combine the canola oil and light brown sugar. Add this to the cocoa mixture and whisk until combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk and whisk until smooth.
  5. Use a rubber spatula and gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl while folding.
  6. Use a small ice cream scoop to drop heaping tablespoons of dough into the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake 10-15 minutes, until the cookies crack slightly on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cookies. Let cool completely while you make the Swiss Vanilla filling.

To make the Swiss Vanilla Filling:
Ingredients:
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups (10.5 oz) sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar together. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water but don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is a milky white, about 3 minutes.
  2. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until the mixture is smooth, white, and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add the butter, beat on medium-high until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla extract and beat to combine, about 5 seconds.
To assemble the Whoopie Pies
Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookie. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling and press down so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookie. Do this until all the cookies are used. Put whoopie pies into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up before serving.
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