Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Maple Whoopie Pies with Coconut Cream, Walnuts & Pecans

These whoopie pies get their great maple flavor from two different forms. Maple syrup is used in both applications and maple sugar crystals are used in the cake recipe.
Maple sugar crystals might be harder to find if you don't live in an urban area, with natural food stores or co-ops. I know that the Whole Foods near me sells it in small expensive bags. Luckily a co-op near my house has it in bulk. At $19.99 a lb, I bring a measuring scoop to the store and portion out only what I need, which came to about $4 for what this recipe calls for. It's not absolutely necessary to use this type of sugar, but it is a great sweetener and why not impart more true maple flavor in your maple whoopie pies?
Pancake syrup is never a substitute for anything requiring maple syrup in my recipes. That stuff is garbage in both flavor and nutrition and it is worth the extra money to buy maple syrup. Standards people!

Soft maple cake/cookie hybrids sandwiched around maple infused coconut cream and rolled in toasted pecans and walnuts spiced with fleur de sel and a pinch of cinnamon.

Maple Whoopie Pies
1 1/2 tsp ener-g egg replacer powder
2 tbl warm water
3/4 cup maple sugar crystals, plus more for sprinkling (or use organic dark brown sugar)
6 tbl canola oil (or 6 tbl earth balance vegan butter, soft)
1/2 cup regular or vanilla oat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 1/4 cup ap flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
(**If you forgot to chill your coconut cream before starting this recipe, not a problem. Pop it in the freezer now and let it chill while you make the cookies. Once the cookies are cool and you are ready to make the filling, the cream will have had ample time to chill)

In an electric mixter with a whisk attachment, whisk together the egg replacer powder and warm water until frothy, 2 minutes. Add the sugar crystals and stream in the canola oil while whisking on medium speed. Once incorporated, whisk on high for 3 minutes until thick and creamy. Add the oat milk, vanilla and maple syrup. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until everything is incorporated.
Use a spoon to drop dough on the baking sheets or for more perfect circles, use an ice cream scoop. Space each dollop 2 inches apart. Press down to slightly flatten each pie. Sprinkle some additional maple crystals on top of each. (If you used brown sugar, sprinkle regular granulated white sugar on top.)
Bake for 11 minutes, turning once after 6. Let cool and frost.

Coconut Cream, Walnuts & Pecans
1/4 cup raw pecans
1/4 cup raw walnuts
pinch cinnamon
pinch fleur de sel (or sea salt)
1-15oz can coconut cream, chilled
1 cup organic powdered sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract

In a dry saute pan, toast the nuts with the cinnamon and salt until toasted. Set aside, let cool and chop finely.
Whip the coconut cream on high speed for 2 minutes until thick and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and extract. Whip 5 minutes more. Sandwich between two cookies.
Press the outer edge of filling with the chopped nuts.

**This cream filling is the consistency of whipped cream in soft peaks, not like frosting found on a cake. If you want a more traditional frosting, simply cream 1/4 cup earth balance vegan butter with the maple syrup, vanilla and maple extract until light in color and creamy. Add the coconut cream and beat for 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat 3 minutes more until stiff.

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