It’s my last weekend of summer vacation. And I still haven’t had a s’more.
For some reason, as you grow up, the number of opportunities you have to consume s’mores in the summer greatly decreases. When I was younger, I feel like there was always a fire pit ready and waiting for me to perfect my marshmallow roasting skills, whether on a beach, at a campsite, or in someone’s backyard. We even had an indoor s’mores maker for when there wasn’t a fire handy. This summer, however, I can distinctly remember the one opportunity I had (back in July at a family friend’s party) where I passed, thinking I could have a s’more some other time.
Now, as I get ready to move to Cambridge and start another new chapter in my life, I do so having ended my first summer without s’mores and feeling very sad about it. There’s something about the subtle skill of creating a perfectly golden marshmallow and then squashing it between chocolate and graham crackers that is quintessentially summer, and I feel I’ve missed out.
For a normal person, this would be a sure sign that I should oblige the grocery store’s summer campfire displays and pick up some Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Jet Puffed Marshmallows, and Honey Maid Graham Crackers. (Side note: do other brands of graham crackers and marshmallows even exist?) I, however, do not like to make things easy.
Instead, I set out to recreate the summer-ness of s’mores in a baked good: the whoopie pie.With all of my cookbooks ahead of me in Cambridge, I turned to the internet and one of my favorite blogs, Brown Eyed Baker. With a couple slight modifications, mostly based on availability of ingredients, I think I succeeded in my mission.
Though they do lack the satisfying crunch of a traditional s’more, the whoopie pie format actually prevents the marshmallow-and-chocolate-covered hands that necessarily follow from the graham cracker crunching and releasing it’s inner gooeyness all over you. So it’s an acceptable tradeoff if you plan on eating indoors.
Anyways, it’s a three part recipe, with each component pretty easy to make and the final product very easy to assemble. The only time-consuming aspect is the waiting for things to cool; a necessary evil in baking.
First, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.If you’re grocery store has graham flour, that is what was recommended originally. I spent probably 10 minutes reading every type of flour that Stop & Shop had in its organic aisle to no avail. I did learn about my options with regards to all other possible flours, though. Whole wheat flour is perfectly fine.
In a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar, butter, and shortening on medium speed for about three minutes, or until light and fluffy. It’s the dark brown sugar, not the graham flour, that gives the cookies the graham cracker taste. Make sure you are using dark brown, rather than light brown, sugar for this reason.
Add the eggs and butter milk and beat on low speed until combined. It looks pretty gross at this stage. In a separate prep bowl, combine the milk, baking soda, and white vinegar. It foams up, which gives the experiment a nice chemistry feel.Add the milk mixture and flour mixture to the stand mixer. Beat on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for another three minutes until smooth and fluffy.Drop the dough by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about two inches apart. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While the cookies cool, beat the fluff and shortening in the stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment on medium speed for three minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until creamy and able to spread. Set aside. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to bubble. Pour over chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and let sit for ten minutes.Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and stir every 10 minutes until it can be spread.On the flat side of a cookie, spread some of the chocolate ganache. Then, spread some of the marshmallow filling. Top with the flat side of another cookie. So far, all of my taste-testers have approved. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container and they should keep for about a week.
S’mores Whoopie Pies
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons shortening
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
- 1 1/4 cups shortening
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, shortening, and dark brown sugar on medium speed for three minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and buttermilk and beat to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine milk, baking soda, and white vinegar.
- Add milk mixture and flour mixture to stand mixer and beat on low speed until just combined.
- Add vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for three minutes until smooth and fluffy.
- Drop dough by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about two inches apart.
- Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the shortening and marshmallow fluff on medium speed for three minutes until light and smooth.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy and ready to spread.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat cream until bubbles just begin to form.
- Pour cream over chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes, stirring every ten.
- To assemble whoopie pies, spread ganache on flat side of one cookie, spread marshmallow filling over ganache, and place another cookie, flat side down, on top.