Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 8-22-2013 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Poppy seeds are a natural partner with tangy lemon, so we decided to pair them up in whoopie pies. We use the creaming method to mix the dough, and our recipe yields especially light, fluffy, and tender pies. To make the Lemon Poppy Seed Whoopie Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches, a spectacular frozen treat, we like to fill these with Lemon Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream. Of course, you could always fill yours with Homemade Marshmallow Cream Filling. Or, try the Marshmallow Fluff Filling recipe, found in the Authentic Whoopie Pies Recipe.
COOKIE RECIPE HELP
Before you begin the recipe, soak the poppy seeds in hot milk. Poppy seeds are usually soaked in milk or oil or ground before using in a recipes and fillings. Soaking softens their tough outer coating, so that their unique flavoring compounds could be more easily released by baking temperatures.
To do this:
1) Heat the milk, specified in the recipe, in the microwave until it is very hot.
2) Add the poppy seeds, from the recipe, to the milk and let them steep, while coming to room temperature before using both ingredients in the recipe; do not strain first.
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole or 2% milk
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Position two oven shelves in the oven; one in the upper third and the other in the lower third of the oven.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
2. After measuring, into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Cut the cold butter in tablespoon size pieces. Add it to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat on low until softened.
4. With the mixer on low, add the sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until smooth and creamy.
Stop the mixer and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, on low speed until fully combined.
NOTE: We like to lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl or a liquid measuring cup with a pouring spout, and pour them into the mixing bowl.
6. After the eggs have been added, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the mixture for 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If the eggs are cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together as the batter warms from the beaters.)
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
8. Mix the lemon juice into the cooled milk/poppy seed mixture, then add it to the mixer bowl. Beat on low until combined.
NOTE: The lemon juice will make the milk curdle, but that is OK!
9. Add the lemon zest, and the vanilla and mix on low until well combined.
NOTE: Do not be alarmed by the curdled appearance, the mixture will be perfectly smooth after the flour is added.
10. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the flour mixture, a little at a time, beating on low only until combined.
11. When complete, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl to get any stray flour. Unclamp the mixer bowl and fold the mixture together until just incorporated.
12. Drop batter onto the prepared baking sheets using a two tablespoon scoop; do not flatten them. Leave two inches between each mound of batter.
You should get 24 mounds of dough, 12 per sheet.
Note: I did not have a 2 tablespoon scoop, so I used a HEAPING 1 tablespoon scoop. See the picture below.
13. Bake the whoopie pies for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the tops just start to take on a little color.
Let the cakes cook on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire cake rack to cool completely.
14. Match up the cakes into pairs and prepare to fill them.
The unfilled Whoopie Pie halves can be stored at room temperature, well wrapped, for 2 to 3 days, the same as any cake recipe. They can be frozen for a month or more. Thaw at room temperature in their wrappers. Do not refrigerate.
The ultimate choice of the filling determines the final storage requirements.