Can you believe it's July 1st? While I would never wish the summer away, I'm sort of glad to see June go because it was an endless string of one rainy day after another here. Let's hope July brings some sunshine with it.
I'm also psyched July is here because it means that July 4th is just a few days away! I'm still working on our menu, but the one thing I know with certainty that it will include is s'mores. I absolutely love s'mores in every form imaginable! Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate - such a simple, unassuming combo but one that I am completely powerless to resist. We always make classic s'mores on the 4th of July, toasting the marshmallows using our grill and then shamelessly devouring them right there on our deck. It wouldn't be the same without that ritual!
It's hard to beat a classic s'more but that hasn't stopped me from trying. I've made countless s'mores-inspired desserts over the years. From s'mores cookies to s'mores cheesecake, s'mores brownies, s'mores ice cream sandwiches, two kinds of s'mores bars, and s'mores cupcakes - you might think I've covered all the bases. But I'm not done yet.
Last week I decided we needed s'mores whoopie pies in our life too, and that was a very, very good decision! If it's not too hot to turn on the oven where you live, these would be a fantastic addition to your 4th of July celebration.
So here's what we have going on in our whoopie pies: the cookies themselves are graham cracker flavored thanks to the inclusion of graham flour. I use Bob's Red Mill graham flour which is readily available around here. Sandwiched between the cookies is a fluffy, sweet marshmallow filling. And finally, on top of the cookies is a rich chocolate ganache to complete the s'mores flavor trifecta. I used milk chocolate because it's classic, but you could definitely go for semisweet if you wanted. To garnish the whoopie pies I sprinkled some crushed graham crackers on top, but it's completely optional since the flavor of the graham crackers is already infused in the cookies.
These were a smashing success here - Shane was so excited about them I could barely hold him off long enough to get a few pictures. We're usually good about sharing desserts with family and friends, but these whoopie pies didn't stand a chance, they never made it out of our house :)
S'mores Whoopie Pies
cookies from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell, filling from Martha Stewart, glaze from Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Graham Cracker Cookies
1 1/2 cups graham flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk (I used 1%)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3.75 oz marshmallow fluff (half of a jar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
crushed graham cracker pieces (optional garnish)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk both flours, the baking powder, and the salt together in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, and brown sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs and the buttermilk, beating until incorporated.
In a small measuring cup, whisk together the milk, baking soda, white vinegar, and vanilla. Alternately add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, and the milk mixture in 1, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, beating until the mixture is evenly combined.
Using a 1-1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the batter onto the prepared baking pans, leaving about 1-2 inches between cookies. Bake for about 9 minutes (rotating the pans halfway through) until the cookies spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough (cooling the baking sheets completely between batches).
To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the confectioner's sugar and beat until incorporated - the mixture will become crumbly at first, just keep beating and it will come together. Add the marshmallow fluff and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
To make the glaze: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the cream to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for about 1 minute, then add the corn syrup (if using - the syrup just makes the glaze a bit more shiny, but you don't need it) and gently whisk the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set the mixture aside to thicken slightly, until the consistency is right for spreading - about 10 minutes.
When the cookies have cooled completely, pair them up by size. Spread the top (the rounded side) of one cookie in each pair with a little bit of the glaze. Sprinkle with some of the crushed graham crackers, if using. Let the glaze set (you can transfer the cookies to the fridge to speed this up). Spread (or pipe) a dollop of the marshmallow filling on the flat side of the other cookie in each pair. Top with the glazed cookie and press lightly to push the filling to the edges.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also store them in the fridge, but take them out well in advance of serving so they can come back to room temperature.
Makes about 24 sandwich cookies