Baking with Joy

This weekend, a couple of the dedicated marketing team here at Turnaround decided to try out some recipes from a rather wonderful Hyperion book we have coming out in the UK in March called the JOY THE BAKER COOKBOOK. For those unfamiliar with Joy the Baker, her blog started in 2008 and has been a phenomenal success. Named by The Times as one of the Top 50 Food Blogs and nominated for Best New Blog in the prestigious Bloggies, her quirky and unusual recipes range from delicate ‘Honey Chamomile Cupcakes’ to the more robust salt-sweet heaven of ‘BrownSugar Bacon Biscuits’. She specialises in combining unusual flavours to create unexpected results that are interesting and much more importantly, utterly delicious.

Whilst we’re proud to say our baking skills are surprisingly good, all mistakes (and *ahem* there were a few) are without a shadow of a doubt a reflection of our own abilities and not the recipe! We tried out the Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pierecipe from her book; primarily because the word ‘whoopie’ is so irresistible. Joy has kindly allowed us to share this recipe here on our blog.

What the Whoopie Pies are supposed to look like.

A note about cups: Americans use cup measures. Here in the UK we use ounces and we’re supposed to use grams but I’m set in my ways. Fortunately the conversion process is pretty simple so I have put both American and UK measures for your delectation. (Note the table at the bottom courtesy of Delia Smith).


A whoopie pie is a majestic combination of cookie and sort of squashed cake. You may have seen them starting to make inroads into the dominance of the eponymous cupcake in Britain. From my understanding, America caught on to this delicacy a bit more quickly when the Amish came up with the idea to use up old cake mixture, so many of the best recipes come from across the pond.

For the Cookies:

2 cups/9 oz/300g – all-purpose flour

½ Cup/2.5 oz/75g – unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
1 stick/4oz/115g Unsalted butter softened
½ cup/4oz/115g Granulated sugar
½ cup/3oz/85g Packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

For the filling
1 stick/4oz/115g Unsalted butter softened.
7oz/200g Marshmallow crème (usually found in UK supermarkets as a jar of ‘Fluff’ – more on this later…)
½ cup/4oz/115g smooth all natural peanut butter
Pinch of salt
1 cup/4.5oz/150g Powdered sugar (aka Icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar)
1tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup/1oz/28g coarsely chopped roasted and salted peanuts

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350F/175C/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Set aside.

To make the cookies: in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder. Set aside.

In the bow of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars until light and well incorporated – 3 to 5 minutes. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat on a low speed for 1 minute until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed. With mixer running, slowly add the buttermilk. When just incorporated, add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just blended. Finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula.

Spoon the batter by heaping a tablespoonful onto the repared baking sheet. Leave at least an inch of space between each one. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the centres are cooked through but the cookies are still soft and tender.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling: in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, marshmallow, peanut butter and salt. Beat until smooth and no butter lumps remain. 

Add the icing/powdered/confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy.

Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Fold in the peanuts with a spatula.

When cookies have cooled, spread a scant two tablespoons of filling onto the bottom of one cookie. Top with another similar sized cookie. Fill all cookies and sandwich. 

Cookies are best wrapped individually in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge.
Whoopie pies will last, well wrapped, in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Things we did wrong that you should not repeat.

1). I am a terrible driver and a huge scaredy cat, so instead of driving to Waitrose where it is a simple matter to purchase some marshmallow ‘Fluff’, I stopped at ASDA in a state of fright and refused to go on driving. This resulted in a terrible terrible idea – to make our own Fluff simply by melting marshmallows. FYI – this does not work and the weight of the melted marshmallows produced a smoky blue haze and nearly broke the electric blender. Plus there was a sticky stringy residue all over everything. Moral of the tale – get someone else to drive and buy some Fluff.

2). After the trauma of getting melted marshmallows everywhere, we forgot to add the icing sugar to the filling.

The end result.
Despite our incompetent handling of the situation, the end result was still fantastic. We recommend the book as there are so many great recipes in there along with Joy’s commentary and beautiful illustrations.

Our conversion table

1 cup flour 
1 cup caster/ granulated sugar 
1 cup brown sugar 
1 cup butter/margarine/lard 
1 cup sultanas/raisins 
1 cup currants 
1 cup nuts
1 cup golden syrup 
1 cup uncooked rice 
1 cup grated cheese 
1 stick butter

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