Mmmyeah. I’m going to need a potluck or party invitation ASAP or I’m going to continue to wash these babies down with Diet Dr. Pepper one-by-one at home all alone, and nobody wants to see that happen.
That is to say, break out the giant stash of zucchini everyone seems to have laying around this time of year, bake a batch of moist, decadent (yet surprisingly healthy!) Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Icing, then find someone to share ‘em with. They are soohoho amazing!
These babies taste just like zucchini bread, but come in a mini, poppable size, and are made with a fraction of the butter and sugar. They remind me of the dinky doozies (mini cookie frosting sandwiches, basically) my best friend I used to get from the Great American Cookie shop at the mall in 6th grade, except I baked them in my PJs last weekend vs ordering them at the counter while waiting for my Mom to pick us up in her minivan, wearing overall jorts with a multi-colored braided belt, round glasses, puffy bangs, and pink socks with Keds. Awkward!
Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies get placed in the healthier dessert category not only for incorporating shredded zucchini and heart healthy old fashioned oats into the batter, but also for replacing lots of butter with unsweetened applesauce. This is a summery dessert you can feel good about enjoying.
Make these sweet treats for your friends, family, office, party, or potluck. I guarantee there won’t be any left, and nobody will believe they’re healthy(ish)!
Start the Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies by making the zucchini bread cookies, which are moist and chewy. YUM! First add 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room temperature butter into a large mixing bowl.
Next add 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (that’s one snack pack for those of you who have kids and/or husbands that love applesauce but will only eat it if it comes in individual-sized portions.) Applesauce is a GREAT swap for butter/oil in baking recipes. I use it all the time!
Next add 1/3 cup each brown and regular sugar then beat for 2 minutes. FYI – your mixture will not be light and fluffy like a traditional cookie dough, because of the applesauce.
Next add 1 egg then beat, followed by 1/2 teaspoon vanilla then beat again. Add a mixture of flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in two batches, then beat some more!
Now for zee ingredient du jour – zucchini! Grate 1 medium-sized zucchini on the small side of a box grater. If you don’t have a box grater, I highly recommend getting one. Ben got me this bad boy a couple years ago (did I just call a box grater a bad boy?) and I use it all. the. time. I bet you could get one for under $10 at Bed, Bath & Beyond with their 20% off coupon, which always seem to be littering the house and car until you actually need one and then they’re nowhere to be found. AmIright?
Place the shreds into a cloth napkin or towel, squeeze out the excess moisture, then measure out 1 cup zucchini shreds and add them to the bowl.
Squeezing out the excess moisture ensures we have a moist, but not soggy, cookie.
Finally, mix in 1 cup old fashioned oats then place the dough into the fridge to firm up for one hour.
Once the dough is firm enough to hold its shape, scoop by the Tablespoon onto baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes, or until the tops are set. Let ‘em cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, whip up the insanely decadent whoopie pie filling, aka cream cheese frosting. WHOOOPIE! Ahem! Sorry. Simply whip together 2 Tablespoons butter with 4oz softened 1/3 less fat cream cheese, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
Scoop the icing into a piping or ziplock bag, then snip the corner off.
Pipe the frosting onto one half of the cooled zucchini bread cookies (make sure they’re all the way cooled or the icing will just melt!) then pop the tops on.
Raise your hand if you think the combo of zucchini, oatmeal, and applesauce in these babies practically qualifies them as health food! ;)
Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies
Makes 18 whoopie pies
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature (must be room temp!)
1/2 cup (4oz) unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely grated zucchini (squeezed of excess moisture then measured)
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup flour
1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the icing:
2 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
4oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature (must be room temp!)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine butter, applesauce, and sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes (mixture won’t be light and fluffy – it’s ok.) Add egg then beat to combine. Add vanilla then beat to combine.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in two batches, mixing well between each batch. Add zucchini and mix to combine then add oatmeal and mix to combine. Cover bowl then place in the refrigerator for one hour, or until dough holds it’s shape when scooped.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop 1 Tablespoon dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets then bake for 10 minutes, or until set on top. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the icing: While the cookies are cooling, combine butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scoop into a piping or ziplock bag, snip off the corner, then pipe onto half the cooled cookies and top with the other half. Store whoopie pies in an airtight container in the fridge.
I dare you to try and resist the sweet, decadent flavor of a Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pie. It just won’t happen!
Ooey, chewy, moist, and gooey. Whoopie!