I don't need much of an excuse to bake...and when a bride told me her wedding colors were plum and red, I started thinking about food for her shower. Thank goodness for Pinterest, I found Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling and of course, had to test the recipe! I adapted it a little, but here's the link as well. Beautiful and delicious!
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel filling
Salted Caramel Filling - step 1
2 T. Water
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, at room temperature
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 Cup Butter, at room temperature
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
To make the caramel: In a small thick-bottomed saucepan mix together the water and the granulated sugar until well blended. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and continue boiling until the mixture turns a light caramel color, only stirring once every four minutes. This took me about eight minutes, but the speed will depend upon the heat of your stovetop. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the heavy cream, butter, and brown sugar until incorporated. Be careful as the mixture will spit and hiss a bit. If the sugar begins to clump up when you're stirring do not fret, just stir as best as you can for about 30 seconds and then put the pot back on the heat and bring it back to a boil again over medium-low heat. Once it is boiling again stir until the sugar chunk dissolves and the mixture is smooth. Once it smoothes out, stir it every two minutes and allow the mixture to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until it has thickened. Remove from the stovetop and stir in the salt. Allow to cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to continue cooling. Once cooled, you want the caramel to be thick enough where it can be used as a filling without oozing everywhere, but still soft enough to mold with your hands into a soft ball. If yours is still liquidy after a stint in the refrigerator, bring it to a simmer and cook again for a few minutes until it thickens a bit, then cool it down again.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies - step 2
2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ Cup buttermilk
1-3 teaspoons red food coloring
Sea Salt crystals
To make the Red Velvet Whoopie Pies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until well blended. Set aside. Beat the butter in a stand mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds, then add the brown sugar and beat for 1 minute more or until creamed together.
Add the egg and the vanilla extract and continue mixing until they're fully combined. Now alternate between adding a bit of the flour mixture and a bit of the buttermilk until they have been completely incorporated. Turn the speed to a low setting and add the red food coloring, starting with 1 teaspoon. Add until you get the color you like.
Use a tablespoon to scoop a bit of the batter and place it on the parchment paper in rows with about 2 inches between each whoopie pie... Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the tops of the whoopie pies are set. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes before removing the whoopie pies and allowing them to cool completely on a wire rack.
When the whoopie pies are completely cooled, take a teaspoon to a tablespoon (depending on the width of your whoopie pies) of the salted caramel and roll it into a ball in your hand, then press it between your palms to flatten it. Place the little caramel disc on an upside down whoopie pie. Sprinkle a few sea salt crystals on top of the caramel and then place a right-side up whoopie pie on top to make a little sandwich. Repeat until you use up all the whoopie pies or all of the caramel. The assembled whoopie pies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.