Monkey Whoopie Pies

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Happy Lunar New Year everyone! 恭禧发财!

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To celebrate, I made these whoopie pies (cake-like cookies filled with frosting or whatever else you want). If you’ve never heard of a whoopie pie, you are in for a real treat. It takes the easiness of eating a cookie with the taste of cake and frosting, and sticks it all into one adorable sweet. I’ve also made peppermint ones that you can find here.

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Usually whoopie pies are plain cake, but these have a cute monkey design. I think my favorite part is the swirly tail on the back :D.

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These are very similar in idea to the cute macaron in various colors and designs that are becoming very popular. But, these are just as adorable without the finicky feet and recipe of making macaron. Maybe whoopie pies will become the latest trend, who knows!

Oven Temperature: 325˚F
Baking Time: 6-10 minutes
Makes: 30 whoopie pies

Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
1 stick room temperature butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups  flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 Tablespoon white vinegar)
about 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
extra milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.

Add a third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, mix on low speed. Then stir in half the milk. Add another third of the flour mixture and mix. Add the last half of the milk. And finish with the remaining third of the flour.

Grab two bowls and pour ~1 cup of the batter into one and ~1/4 cup of the batter into the other. Add about 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of milk into the bowl with 1 cup of batter (this will be for the monkey’s face, ears and tail). Add 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 Tablespoons of milk into the 1/4 cup of batter (adjust accordingly to get the right color and consistency for the monkey’s eyes).
*optional* You can add one drop of black food coloring to get a deeper color if desired.

Add ~1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the remaining batter in the large bowl to make the base for the face and back.

Place each of the batters into piping bags with a large round tip for the dark brown, a small tip for the light brown, and a #2 tip for the black.

Pipe out monkey shapes using each of the batters. I used the dark brown to create 1.5 inch circles. Then I piped smaller circles for the ears on half of the mini cakes. With the light brown I added details for the face and tails on the other circles. Add eyes with the black and you are done!

Bake for 6-10 minutes.

Cool completely. Then fill with your favorite frosting or filling. Enjoy!

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