I think all of the food we made for Clara’s party was well received, but the whoopie pies were the clear favorite. They were popular with everyone, and I got so many “Is this recipe on your blog?” questions that I knew I had to post the recipe right away.
Most people think of whoopie pies as a dessert, but I knew I wanted to make savory ones for Clara’s party. Since Frito Pie was the main dish, I wanted something cornbread-esque to have as a side. I’m not at all surprised at how quickly these whoopies disappeared. I mean, let’s be real here. It’s goat cheese, bacon and chives sandwiched between two slightly spicy cornbread cakes. There’s pretty much no way you can go wrong with that combination.
If you want to make them ahead of time, the cakes can be baked and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature for at least 2 hours before filling. The filling can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour before using.
Heat oven to 375º and place rack in center. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a nonstick baking mat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the buttermilk, butter and egg in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until just combined, then increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, or until well combined. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture and peppers and beat until just combined.
Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cakes begin to brown around the edges, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are baking, make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the goat cheese, cream cheese and milk. Beat on low speed until just combined, then increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Reduce speed to low and add the bacon and chives and beat until just combined.
To assemble the whoopie pies, scoop about a tablespoon (we used the same scoop we used to make the cakes) onto half the cakes. Place the remaining cakes onto the filled cakes and press to sandwich them together.
Adapted from Whoopie Piesby Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell