Ugh. I’ve had kind of a rough week. So, I thought that baking something fun would cheer me up a bit. I love vanilla whoopie pies, but I was trying to think of a way to make them different. I thought of the rainbow donuts I made a few weeks ago and wondered why not make rainbow whoopie pies? Perfect! So I made up the vanilla batter, divided it into 6 bowls, and colored it. Then, I was thinking, now what? I figured putting them into Ziploc bags and cutting off the corner would be a good start. Then I randomly dropped lines of batter every which way in the bottom of a dish and scooped up the batter with a cookie scoop. But the colors got too muddy. Darn. So, I decided to put random dots of batter into a bowl and swirl them together with a toothpick. Again, same problem, muddy colors. Finally, I put the dots randomly into the bowl, left them as is and scooped. Now I got the big patches of color that I was looking for! It was such a fun project for me to work through, trying different things until I got what I had envisioned in my head. And honestly, rainbow colored or not, these taste fabulous! My husband tried them and was swearing because they were so good. “Wow!” was all Jack could say as he stuffed his cute little face. And, now I am happy to see them happy…though eating several whoopie pies myself probably had a hand in that as well.
Rainbow Vanilla Whoopie Pies
Yield: about 24 whoopie pies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Gel food coloring I used Americolor (this really gives the best color)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Sift onto a large piece of wax paper.
In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle, beat the butter, shortening and both sugars on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat until combined. Don’t worry if your batter looks curdled. Mine did, but then came together when I added the rest of the ingredients.
Combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar in a small measuring cup. With the mixer on low, add the milk mixture to the batter along with the flour mixture. Beat just until everything is combined. Add the vanilla and beat on medium for 2 minutes, until completely combined. Divide the batter among 6 bowls (see helpful hints). Add red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food coloring until you get your desired color. You want the colors to be really bright, so it will take quite a few drops. I then put each color into its own Ziploc bag and cut the corner off. Using about a 3rd of each color, I put a bunch of dots randomly into the bottom of a shallow bowl. (You have to work in batches so you don’t muddy up the colors)
Using a small spring loaded cookie scoop (1 tbsp) , carefully drag it through the dots and drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between cookies. (I got 16 cookies per sheet.) Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes (start to check at 6 minutes) , or until they are set and just beginning to brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the first batch is baking, clean the rainbow batter bowl and cookie scoop. Prepare a new bowl of colored dots, the same way, with another 3rd of the batter. Scoop as previous and place onto the prepared cookie sheet. Clean the bowl and cookie scoop. Prepare the final bowl of rainbow batter with the last 3rd of batter.
Marshmallow filling ( I used Martha Stewart’s recipe because I prefer butter in the filling to shortening)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow Fluff
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add Fluff and vanilla and continue mixing until well combined. I put the filling into a large Ziploc bag, and cut off the corner, so I could easily pipe the filling onto the bottom cookies.
Source: Vanilla whoopie pies from Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix’ em, Match’em, Eat’em Up Recipes and the marshmallow filling from Martha Stewart
- My 1st batch I used a skewer to swirl the colors together, but it made them too muddy. I found that the dots of colors swirled on their own just by dragging the cookie scoop through it.
- Make sure you clean the cookie scoop when you make up each new bowl of rainbow batter. I did this in three batches to keep the colors clean.
- Make sure your colors are very vibrant to make the colors pop. It may require several drops of color, preferably Americolor.
- It is inevitable that your last cookie in each bowl won’t be so pretty since the colors get so mixed together in the scraping of the bowl. Pretty or not, it still tastes delicious! The kids will eat the ugly ones
- The blue and purple show through the most, so it might be a good idea to make a little more batter for the red, orange and yellow so those colors come through better.