Oh how I love the combination of chocolate and peppermint. This time of year I typically turn to peppermint bark to get my fix, but this year wanted to try something new and fun. I’ve experimented with some different types of whoopie pies recently (pumpkin, red velvet, and s’mores) and thought that a peppermint whoopie pie would be fun and festive. They turned out just as awesome as I thought they would. The chocolate cakes are soft and moist, and are filled with a peppermint-spiked buttercream frosting. For a Christmas-y kick I rolled the the edges in crushed candy canes. I kind of think Santa would go bananas if he found these on a plate with a glass of milk on Christmas Eve!
The tops of my cakes got a little crackly because I used a cookie scoop (medium size) to scoop out the dough, but if you wanted a smooth top you could wet your finger a little and dab the top for a smoother finish. I don’t mind my cookies having character :)
If you have kids, do you leave the same kinds of favorite cookies every year or do you change it up?
Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and brown sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.
Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and ½ cup milk and beat until completely combined.
Drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the pies spring back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
Make the Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the powdered sugar and the butter, starting on low and increasing to medium speed, until the mixture is crumbly, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, peppermint extract, and salt and beat on high until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Assemble the Whoopie Pies: Spread filling onto the flat side of one cake using a knife or spoon. (Alternatively, you can use a pastry bag with a round tip to pipe the filling onto the cakes, which will give you a smoother, neater presentation.) Top it with another cake, flat-side down. Repeat wit the rest of the cakes and filling. Roll the edges in crushed candy canes.
Whoopie pies are best eaten within a day of making them. Store in a wide, shallow container arranged in a single layer for up to 3 days. You can also wrap them individually in plastic wrap.