Chanin's Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Three Fillings

Chanin made this recipe for our Whoopie Pie Exchange.   (It's a variation of the recipe listed on the Epicurious webisite.)  They were delicious.  She filled them with butter cream frosting, which I prefer to marshmallow cream --  too sweet for my palate.    This cookie is also terrific with peppermint butter cream, or peanut butter frosting, which I have listed below.  Take your pick, you can go wrong with any of them.

For the cakes: (makes about 20 Oreo-sized pies)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 305 degrees.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined.
Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.
Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add the egg, beating until well combined.
Reduce speed to low and alternately add the four and buttermilk, ending with flour, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.
Spoon tablespoon size mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto a butter large baking sheet.  Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched.  11 to 13 minutes.
Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely before filling.

To assemble pies, spread frosting on the bottom of 1 pie.  Top with another pie to make a sandwich.

Buttercream Frosting:
1 16- oz. box powdered sugar
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Combine the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat until pale and creamy, about 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Peppermint Frosting:
(same recipe as above, but replace the vanilla with 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract.)

Peanut Butter Frosting.

5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often.
Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

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