St. Patrick’s Day is creeping up quick and I am beginning to feel a bit green just thinking about all of the debaucherous malarky it brings. I am not real big on parades, celtic music, food coloring in my beer or public drunkenness in general, so the St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans are kind of lost on me. However, I am a fan of lifting religious restrictions for a day in order to imbibe on copious amounts of food and drink. I imagine a nip of Irish Whiskey probably tastes pretty darn good during a 6 week stint of religious sobriety. I wouldn’t know, I’d never last that long without whiskey. My tiny, green leprechaun hat is off to those who do have such self control. Enjoy your day off, lads. You’ve earned it.
In honor of St. Paddy’s day, I’ve baked up a new recipe based on one of my favorite Irish-inspired customs, Irish Coffee. While I am not sure just how traditionally Irish it really is, I do know it’s a classic San Francisco tradition and that’s enough for me to raise a glass in Sláinte (to your health). This recipe for Irish Coffee Whoopie Pies combines two great tastes that go great together, coffee and whiskey.
The full-on coffee flavor comes from a stubbie of Stumptown Cold Brew and a few teaspoons of instant espresso. If you’ve never experienced the arse kicking power of the Stumptown coldies, let’s just say they’ll get you to the top of the mornin’ in 3 seconds flat, no shite.
The pot of gold at the end of the whoopie pie rainbow is the whiskey buttercream filling. The sweet buttercream gets nice and shlossed with a wee little bottle of Jameson, but quickly sobers up thanks to that powerful kick of coffee.
Before heading out to get plastered on green beer, I highly suggest baking up a batch of these Irish Coffee Whoopie Pies for you and yours. You’ll feel so lucky to bite into a freshly baked whoopie pie after a night of shamrockin’ that you may just want to kiss me (even if I’m not Irish).
- all purpose flour - 3 1/2 cups
- salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- baking powder - 1 1/4 teaspoon
- baking soda - 1 1/4 teaspoon
- dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona) - 3/4 cup
- instant espresso powder - 3 teaspoons
- Stumptown Cold Brew or strong brewed coffee - 3/4 cup hot,
- boiled water - 1/4 cup
- light brown sugar, firmly packed - 2 cups
- canola oil - 3/4 cup
- egg - 1 (large)
- pure vanilla extract - 1 1/2 teaspoons
- buttermilk at room temperature - 1/2 cup
- butter at room temperature - 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)
- powdered sugar - sifted - 3 1/2 - 4 cups
- Irish Whiskey - 3-4 tablespoons
- pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the cocoa and espresso powder.
- Add the cold brew coffee (or hot freshly brewed strong coffee) and boiling water, whisk until both powders are completely dissolved.
- In a medium bowl, stir the brown sugar and oil together. Add mixture to the cocoa mixture and whisk until combined. Add the egg, vanilla and buttermilk and whisk until smooth.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Make sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as you fold.
- Use a 2 tablespoon sized ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to drop heaping mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch apart.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on pans.
- Whip the butter on medium-medium/high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
- Whip in a pinch of salt. Then add half of the powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
- While mixing, slowly pour in the vanilla and whiskey. Then add the remaining powdered sugar until a desired consistency is reached.
- For these Irish Coffee Whoopie Pies, I like my buttercream like I like my whiskey, stiff. A thicker filling will help hold the pies together.
- Once the pies are completely cooled, turn half of them over.
- Use a small offset spatula to spread a tablespoon sized dollop onto the flat side of the pie, don't spread all the way to the edge as the filling will spread a bit out when topped.
- Place another pie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Gently press down and turn slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the pies. Repeat with all of the pies.
- Store the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving.
- Recipe adapted from the recipe Chocolate Whoopie Pies by Baked Explorations.