Out of curiosity, I went on Epicurious and Food Network to see how many recipes would come up if I did a search for the word “yellow.” I was actually a little surprised that the color turned up so many entries, 1,182 and 3,281 respectively. So, there should be no shortage of inspiration for making something yellow. Why yellow? For Barbara, of Winos and Foodies, LiveSTRONG with a Taste of Yellow.
Since Barbara’s event is to honor loved ones that have had to battle cancer, I really wanted to make something that encompassed yellow and pink in honor of my mother-in-law who is a breast cancer survivor.
So, I decided that trying to make some whoopie pies was the way to go. Obviously they aren’t traditional and this was completely experimental. Oh, they are SO not experimental at all anymore. For a moment of complete honesty here, I made a batch last night – about 30 minutes, start to eating – and, yeah they are all gone. I ate two for breakfast. I figured these weren’t much different than a cinnamon roll or a muffin as far as a sweet breakfast goes. So, no, I don’t feel too bad about it.
So, here you go. My whoopie pie twist – lemon cake and raspberry cream cheese filling. Read the recipe to see a surprise ingredient though. The deep golden yellow color comes from the brown sugar in the cookies along with the food coloring. I imagine for a brighter yellow you could substitute some of the brown sugar with white sugar.
Did I mention that these were really really good?!
Lemon Whoopie Pies with Raspberry Cream Cheese Filling
1 cup canola oil
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup milk
zest and juice from two small lemons, or 1 large lemon (About two tablespoons zest and 1/3 cup juice)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon yellow food color*
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Cream the oil, sugar, lemon zest and eggs until thick and well combined. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts and the food coloring. In a seperate bowl, add the lemon juice to the milk and stir well to combine. Sift, then whisk together the flour cornmeal, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. Add the milk alternately with dry ingredients & mix well.
Drop batter onto cookie sheets using a tablespoon as a small scoop so the cookies are all the same size. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then place one cookie upside down and coat with filling. Top with another cookie.
Wrap in plastic wrap. These freeze really well!
FOR THE FILLING:
Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
(Based on Joy the Baker’s Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting)
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk
5-6 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves, warmed and pureed to be smooth (if necessary)
Cream the butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer. (Be sure that the two are at room temperature. Cold cream cheese or butter can make your frosting lumpy.) Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract, and beat for about 2 minutes. Add the raspberry preserves.
Turn off mixer and add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on a low speed so the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl. Slowly add more sugar alternately with the milk until you reach your desired consistency. It should be fairly thick so it keeps its shape when piped onto the cookie.