I love beer…especially brews that are rich, dark, and local.  So, when I got an email from Foodbuzz Tastemakers with the chance to participate in a New Belgium Brewery Contest I jumped on the challenge. New Belgium is brewed in Fort Collins, not far from Denver and I am a fan of many of their beers.  Lucky for me, I received an email saying that I was chosen!!!!   In return for creating a food using one of their beer or pairing food with one of their beers I get to receive a $50 stipend to help pay for beer and ingredients.  Thanks New Belgium and Foodbuzz!

So…I really wanted to push myself with this challenge.  It has been a while since I’ve experimented in the kitchen (as you all can see with my lack of postings as of late) and thought using beer in baking would definitely be a challenge.  Last week I went into Starbucks and saw something called a Whoopie Pie.  It looked really yummy!  Why not try to make Chocolate Whoopie Pies and incorporate Abbey Beer into them…and to push it even further, add espresso.  I couldn’t wait to get started, submission deadline isn’t until April 28th…but I couldn’t wait!!!

Photo from New Belgium's Website

                                         Photo Pulled from New Belgium’s Website – Linked

Here we go!

Chocolate Abbey Whoopie Pies with Espresso Chip Filling

Inspired by Chocolate Whoopie Pies on Epicurious and my love of Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans!

For Cakes:

  • 2.5 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cups Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 cup Almond Milk with 1 Tbs. Cider Vinegar (set aside for at least 5 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup New Belgium Abbey Beer
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Paste
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 packet Mocha Instant Coffee (I used Starbucks Via Ready Brew)

For Filling:

  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1, 8 oz. package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste
  • 2 oz. Chopped Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
  • Abbey Beer to thin/taste (I used ~ 1.5 Tbs)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350* and line your sheets with parchment paper. 

In a small bowl, add vinegar to your almond flour milk and set aside for at least 5 minutes.  Open your Abbey beer and allow it to rest.

In medium-sized bowl, sift together your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir/whisk until it is well incorporated.

In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy…this will take about 3-4 minutes on medium high.  Add in the vanilla and egg.  Beat until well combined.  Add in the espresso powder.

Add the beer to your almond milk and stir until well combined.  Add ~1/3 flour mix to the butter and beat on low until combined.  Add 1/3 milk, mix until well combined.  Continue to alternate until all ingredients are incorporated. 

Let the batter sit for 5 minutes or so before cooking.  I discovered that my later batches cooked up much better.  I don’t know why…maybe it has something to do with the alcohol? 

Place ~2.5 Tbs of batter on lined cookie sheet (make sure there is PLENTY of room around the plop of batter, they will spread) and bake for ~13 minutes, until the cake springs back when you touch it with your fingertip.  I fit 6 cakes on a large cookie sheet and they had enough room to breath. Move the cakes onto a cooling rack, re-line your sheet and bake your next batch.  You’ll get about 24 cakes…for a total of 12 pies, that are about 3.5″ in diameter.  If you want smaller pies lessen your batter drops to 1.5 Tbs and they’ll end up about 2″ in diameter.

After your cakes have cooled completely you can prep your filling!  Chop your espresso beans in a food processor, Cream together your room temp butter and cream cheese.  Add vanilla and powdered sugar and Abbey Beer until you get the consistency you want.  Fold in espresso beans.  Spread filling on one end of a cake, top with second cake and allow to set in the fridge for ~30 minutes!  ENJOY!!!!

Hope you all like what I’ve done and that New Belgium finds this recipe worthy of their beer!

R-

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