Recipe: Hamburger Whoopie Pies

Here's a fun idea for your Memorial Day barbecue. It's another dessert look alike (Remember our Dessert Nachos?), this time with a mouthwatering whoopie pie made to look like a hamburger! The spongey vanilla bean cake is filled with rich, Nutella buttercream filling and a thin layer of fondant to represent the lettuce. These whoopie pies are as tasty as they are tempting, so whip up a batch and serve them at your next backyard barbecue!

Hamburger Whoopie Pies (adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures)

2 1/4 cups flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature 4 tablespoons shortening 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 2 eggs 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature 2 tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon white vinegar seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract) 10 drops yellow food coloring

Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat until combined. Combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar in a small cup. With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture, followed by the milk mixture and then the rest of the flour mixture. Beat until everything is just combined. Add the seeds from the vanilla bean and food coloring, then beat for another minute, until everything is completely combined.

Using a small cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between cookies. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 8-10 minutes, or until they are set and barely beginning to brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Prepare the filling with the recipe below. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip with the Nutella buttercream. Once the cookies are cool, pair them by size. Add fondant lettuce to the flat side of one cookie, then pipe some of the buttercream on top, then top with another cookie, pressing to nudge the filling to the edges.

Nutella Buttercream

1 1/2 cups butter, softened 1 cup Nutella spread 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 tablespoons milk 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Directions In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together until combined. Add the vanilla, milk and powdered sugar to the bowl and beat on low speed until the powdered sugar is just incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy and smooth.

Fondant Lettuce

1 cup green fondant

Directions Divide fondant and roll into teaspoon-sized balls. Place individual balls in between two layers of plastic wrap and roll flat using a rolling pin. There's no need to keep it in a circular shape, since you want it to mimic lettuce. Gently peel from the plastic and arrange onto the flat side of a cookie before topping with buttercream.

HINT: Wrap individual whoopie pies in plastic and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw on the countertop before serving!

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