Chef Michael Voltaggio grew up eating these cakey, vanilla-cream-filled whoopie pies. His mother says that they would somehow disappear during the night.
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2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Generous pinch of kosher salt
Crushed candy canes, for rolling (optional)
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the Cakes
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients and milk in 3 alternating additions; scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
Step 2 Make the Cakes
Using a 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop 10 level mounds of batter onto each baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake the cakes in the lower and upper thirds of the oven for about 12 minutes, until risen; shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Transfer the cakes to racks and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter, allowing the baking sheets to cool between batches.
Step 3 Make the Filling
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat all of the ingredients except the crushed candy canes until thick and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Scoop 3 tablespoons of the filling onto the flat side of 20 cakes and close with the remaining cakes, pressing the filling to the edges. Roll the edges in crushed candy canes, if desired, and serve.
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