Monday, July 4, 2011

Firecracker Whoopie Pies

Happy 4th of July!

I have always loved this holiday.  What a fun day to celebrate this amazing country we live in and heck! we even get to light off fireworks.  So fun.

Growing up we would always head down to the closest fireworks shop and buy the most awesome fireworks.  Okay at least to a little kid they were awesome, I mean what gets better than snaps, sparklers,  wheels, snakes, and smoke bombs.  I loved it and would look forward to it for months.  Another thing I loved growing up was Pop Rocks.  Anybody with me on this?  What amazing little candies they are, not to mention the feeling in your mouth (or as my son loves to do, swallow it fast so it starts fizzing in your throat--give it try, feels quite weird!).

Now my family (the one I grew up in) has quite the fireworks display and I do have to say it is pretty awesome.  We are quite sorry we missed it this year and our little sparkler party isn't going to have the same feel, but we will have Pop Rocks.  

So this year in honor of how much I loved picking out fireworks as a kid and how cool Pop Rocks were in the 80's, we are off to the firework stand to let the kids pick out some favorites.  Wish me luck!

And we made firecracker cookies to go with our fireworks, what yummy pieces of goodness.  Little bites of Pop Rock deliciousness. good!

Firecracker Whoopie Pies

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
1 t. vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
2 t. vanilla extract
1 T. heavy cream

To decorate:
Red and blue Pop Rocks, 3 packages of each
White, blue, or red jimmies or other sprinkles (optional)

1.  To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and egg white, scraping down the bowl between additions.  Blend in the vanilla.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk to blend.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.  Mix in the milk.  Beat in the remaining dry ingredients, just until incorporated.

2.  Transfer the cookie batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.  Pipe the batter into 1½-inch rounds onto the prepared pans, spacing them an inch or two apart.  If you don't have a large, round tip a small scoop will work fine.  You just need something to make smooth, uniform cookies.  Bake 7-8 minutes, just until set.  Let cool on the pan at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3.  To make the filling, whip the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Mix in the confectioners’ sugar and salt, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla and heavy cream on low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.  Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.

4.  To assemble the cookies, match them up in pairs by size.  Pipe a dollop of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich the cookies together, pushing the filling to the edges.  Place the Pop Rocks in small bowls (or sprinkles).  Dip the edges of the cookies into the Pop Rocks so that they adhere to the frosting.  Serve immediately.  If you are using the Pop Rocks they need to be done right before serving.  If you need to do them ahead of time, I would recommend using sprinkles.

Makes about 26-30 sandwich cookies.

Source: Annie's Eats

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