Halloween Whoopie Pies

Halloween Whoopie Pies
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  6. 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  7. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  8. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  9. 1 egg
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup milk
  12. Meringue Buttercream (recipe below)
  13. 1/3 cup each orange and yellow sprinkles
  14. Meringue Buttercream
  15. 5 large egg whites
  16. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  17. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  18. 4 sticks unsalted, softened butter
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment. Dip a 1-1/2-inch cookie cutter in extra cocoa and tap onto parchment to create a cookie outline; repeat to make outlines 1 inch apart on all baking sheets; set aside. Whisk together cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. 2. In a mixing bowl beat together the butter, shortening and sugars until smooth, about 2 min. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy, 2 min. Stir in half the flour mixture, then the milk, and beat to combine. Add remaining flour mixture and beat together, scraping down sides of bowl.
  3. 3. Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a coupler or a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe onto parchment, filling the outlines with mounds about 1/2 inch high. Bake, one sheet at a time, until cookies spring back to the touch, 10 to 12 min. Cool on baking sheets 10 min, then transfer to a wire rack with a metal spatula and let cool completely.
  4. 4. Spread about 1 tbsp buttercream on flat sides of half the cookies and sandwich with remaining cookies. Cover edges with sprinkles. Can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored chilled. bring to room temperature before serving. Makes about 32.
  5. Meringue Buttercream
  6. 1. Whisk together egg whites and sugar in heatproof bowl of an electric mixer over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved, about 5 min. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers-you shouldn't feel any sugar crystals.
  7. 2. Transfer bow to the mixer stand with the whisk attachment and beat on high until mixture cools and stiff peaks form, 10 to 12 min.
  8. 3. Reduce speed to medium high and add vanilla extract and butter a little at a time. (Buttercream may curdle but will become smooth as you continue to beat it.)
  9. 4. Use within a few hours or refrigerate up to a week. before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low until smooth. Makes about 5 cups.
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