Although strawberries are usually eaten as a summer fruit I also associate them with romantic Valentine's Day evenings either in delicious desserts or covered in chocolate. These soft strawberry cookies are oozing with sweet strawberry cream cheese filling and would be perfect to share with your Valentine this coming February.
Ingredients for Whoopie Pies:
1 Cup Strawberries - Diced very small
3 1/2 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Tsp Salt
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt
Adapted from www.sweetpeaskitchen.com
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz Low Fat Cream Cheese - Softened
1/2 Cup I Can't Believe it's Not Butter - Softened
5 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Strawberries - Diced then Pureed in Food Processor
Start by prepping your strawberries, you can pulse them quickly in a food processor or dice them into small pieces. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the brown sugar and oil, mix well until all of the sugar clumps have broken up.
Next add the yogurt and diced strawberries to the bowl. Mix everything together, then add the eggs one at a time until just combined.
In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking power, baking soda and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into to the bowl with the wet ingredients in 2 or 3 additions. Be careful not to over work the dough.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 350 F and line your baking sheets with Parchment paper or a silicone slipat. I don't own a whoopie pie pan but if you do you can use that instead it will certainly make the pies a more uniformed shape and size.
My whoopie pies were quite large and all different shapes because I used a small ice cream scoop of dough for each cookie If you want smaller pies use a heaping Tbsp of dough. Place the dough on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes until they are a light golden brown color.
Since they are a soft cookie you will need to let them cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before you peel them off and allow them to fully cool on a baking rack. While you are baking and cooling the whoopie pies you can begin to make the filling.
In your stand mixers bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and margarine on a high speed until smooth. Dice another cup of strawberries up and puree them in the food processor until they are no longer solid pieces. Add the strawberry puree and vanilla to the bowl and mix until completely combined. Lastly on a low speed add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Once the filling is made and the cookies have fully cooled you can construct the whoopie pies.
Match up cookies of the same size and shape. Flip one of the cookies over and pip the filling onto the bottom of the cookie. I don't have a pastry bag so I piped the filling onto the cookies using a large freezer sized zip lock bag. Push all of the filling down into the bag and snip off one of the corners. Top with the other cookie. Store the whoopie pies in the fridge.
Enjoy!! - Nicole
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