Candy, flowers and risque lingerie are the trite and true Valentine's Day gifts, but why not make a little whoopie instead? The red velvet whoopie is a bite-sized chocolate and cream delivery system with a color as red a Cupid's cheeks on a chilly day. They're fun, portable and less messy than a cupcake.
Red Velvet Whoopies
1/2 c. buttermilk (or 1/2 c. milk with 1 tbsp. vinegar added)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. red paste food coloring (do not use liquid, as it dilutes the batter)
1 1/2 tsp. vinegar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add food coloring, egg, buttermilk and vinegar, mix thoroughly. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or prepare a whoopie pie pan with nonstick spray. Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, measure batter out into 20 2" rounds that are placed 3" apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until firm. Remove to rack to cool, then fill with frosting of choice.
Red velvet cake always tastes great with cream cheese frosting, but the traditional whoopie pie uses marshmallow cream as its filling. Here is an easy marshmallow-based frosting that retains the marshmallow flavor but has the consistency of buttercream.
6 large, or 60 mini marshmallows
6 tbsp. evaporated milk
3 tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
2 1/4 c. confectioners sugar
Combine marshmallows, milk and salt in top of double boiler. Heat over boiling water until marshmallows melt. Remove from heat, add butter and stir until butter is melted into marshmallow mixture.
Using a small electric mixer, work in confectioners sugar until mixture is smooth and thick enough to spread.