Last year’s red, white, and blue bread pudding turned into a purple mountain of less-than-majestic glop. Katie Kimble, pastry chef at Area Four, reboots patriotism with a fruit dessert that will salvage your reputation.
Strawberry Shortcake Whoopie Pies
Makes 50 one-inch pies or about 20 full-size pies
8 oz. butter
9 oz. sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and with insides scrapped
1½ tbsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. + 2 oz. cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. salt
6 oz. buttermilk
1 oz. milk
5 oz. canola oil
4 oz. sour cream
1 qt. strawberries
¼ c. sugar
1 lb. powdered sugar
4 oz. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Heavy cream as needed
For the strawberry filling
1. Dice strawberries and let them macerate in sugar for at least a few hours (overnight is best).
For the batter
2. Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla bean. Add eggs and extract, then alternate the remaining dries and wets. Finish by mixing in the sour cream.
3. Put batter in piping bag and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
4. Preheat convection oven to 325° or home oven to 350°.
5. Pipe desired size onto parchment-lined sheet pan.
6. Bake until golden brown on edges. Set aside to cool.
For the vanilla filling
7. Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla. Add enough cream to make a light, fluffy frosting; put it in a piping bag.
8. Flip all the cakes and pipe a circle around the edge of the flat surface. Place a small mound of macerated strawberries in the center, pipe a little more frosting, and then sandwich together with a like-size cake.
You just made whoopie.
Area Four, 500 Technology Square, Cambridge (617-758-4444 or areafour.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Area Four