New England Whoopie pies

Ingredients ( makes 12)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Orange nonpareils or sanding sugar, for decoration

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until smooth. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and applesauce, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until smooth (do not overmix).
  • Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean, 10 to 14 minutes. With a thin metal spatula, immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make filling: With a whipped cream dispenser put 16 oz of regular whipping cream into canister add vanilla extract and confectionery sugar to taste. Dispense nitrous oxide, and put in refrigerator, until use.
  • Spread bottom of half the cookies with 1 tablespoon whipped cream each; sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently so filling oozes out slightly. Sprinkle exposed filling with nonpareils. Let rest 15 minutes to set. (To store cookies, keep in refrigerator  wrapped for up to 2 days.)

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