If you've ever visited Amish country in Pennsylvania, you've probably seen whoopie pies. My sophomore year roommate really loved them. Whenever she visited family in Amish country, she always returned with whoopie pies (usually the chocolate ones). They aren't like 'pies' at all. Although they look like cookies, they're more like cake in consistency. I'm not much of a cake lover, but I love whoopie pies. These ones are lemon whoopie pies with a cream cheese filling. And you can never go wrong with cream cheese.
If you live in Amish country, it's probably easier to buy these homemade goodies from the experts. If you live in Philadelphia, you can find lots of whoopie pies at Reading Terminal Market. If you live no where near Amish country or Philadelphia, then make these ones! They aren't exactly the same as the Amish whoopie pies, but they're pretty close. They were a big hit with both my friends that have enjoyed whoopie pies and those who haven't.
(makes 12ish medium sized cookies)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (no buttermilk? make it yourself with vinegar and milk)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Grease the paper.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until smooth (about 3 minutes on medium speed). Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until blended. (The batter may look curdled. Don't worry. This is normal.) Add half the flour mixture and mix on low until just blended. Add in the buttermilk and mix. Then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix until the batter is smooth.
Drop some heaping tablespoons on the baking sheet. These cookies spread out quite a bit while cooking, so make sure to leave enough room in between them so they don't run together. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry. The sides of the cookies may brown, but the tops should not. Let them cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool
6 tablespoons butter
1 brick of cream cheese, ~8 ounces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
Mix butter, cream cheese, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice in large bowl with electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. If the filling doesn't hold its shape, either add more powdered sugar or chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Spread about 1/4 inch of filling on one side of the cookie and press another cookie on top. Wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve these guys cold! They'll keep a few days in the refrigerator, if they last that long...