Shane_48_IMG_0365It’s Shane’s birthday today. If you ask him, he’s 47 years and 365 days old.

Shane was very specific with his birthday dinner request. Steak, sautéed mushrooms, oven fries and iceberg lettuce wedges with blue cheese dressing. For dessert he wanted moon pies, which are actually whoopie pies that we misnamed a long time ago.

Shane loves babies and I think it made his birthday extra special this year to have one around again. He’s pictured below on his birthday, with Sid (left), and 6 years ago with Rose (right). The moon/whoopie pie recipe follows.

• Whoopie (or Moon) Pies with Cream Cheese Filling •
from Martha Stewart (with a different filling)
makes about 12

For the pies:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (yup, Crisco)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 block cream cheese (8oz)
3/4 lb confectioner’s sugar, sifted (you can eyeball this if you don’t have a scale – buy a 1lb box)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; set aside. If you’re lazy about sifting, you can just mix it pretty well with a whisk, if your cocoa isn’t clumpy, it will be fine.

Add butter, shortening, and sugars to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; cream on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture. Beat together, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Drop 12 slightly rounded tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of oven for 10 minutes; switch the positions of the baking sheets, and rotate each one. Continue baking until the cookies spring back to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes more. Do not over-bake, these will get dry very quickly.

Remove from oven; let cookies cool on baking sheets, 10 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a wire rack; let cool completely. Meanwhile, line a cooled baking sheet with a new piece of parchment; repeat process with remaining batter.

To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese with the paddle attachment. Add the sifted confectioners sugar in two batches, mix until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of filling on flat sides of half the cookies.Top each with one of the remaining cookies, flat side down, and gently press together. Enjoy! These are best eaten they day they are made.