Every game-day party needs a sweet, fudgy treat at the end to celebrate the big win, or console a loss! These football-shaped dark chocolate cookies with vanilla buttercream filling are sure to serve either outcome.
Reprinted with permission from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion by Danielle Walker, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photography credit: Erin Kunkel © 2016
Available for purchase on Amazon.
- 1/3 cup palm shortening
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons light-colored raw honey
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon grain-free baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups Vanilla Buttercream (see recipe below)
- Vanilla Buttercream
- 1 cup water, divided
- 4½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
- 1 cup light-colored raw honey*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups palm shortening, softened
- 6 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- Pinch of fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Cut two sheets of parchment paper to fit two rimmed baking sheets. Using a pencil, trace 10 football shapes—each 1½ inches in diameter—on each sheet, spacing them evenly. Turn the sheets over and place on the pans.
To make the cookies, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, or using an electric handheld beater, cream together the palm shortening, coconut sugar and honey for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat again until combined. Combine the arrowroot, cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Slowly beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the coconut milk, until blended.
Using a cookie scoop, drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Using a toothpick or offset spatula, gently draw the batter out to fill in the traced shapes. Alternatively, pipe the batter to fill the traced shapes.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cookies are slightly crisp on the outside. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To assemble, fill a piping bag fitted with a plain tip with the buttercream. Turn one cookie over so the bottom is facing up. Starting from the perimeter, pipe the buttercream onto the bottom, covering it completely. Gently press the bottom side of another cookie on top. Repeat to make 10 filled cookies. Use the remaining buttercream to pipe football laces onto the top of each whoopie pie.
Make it ahead: The pies can be baked and assembled up to 3 days in advance. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. The cookies can also be baked and frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then wrapped individually and stored for up to 6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight prior to filling with frosting.
Vanilla Buttercream Directions
Place ½ cup of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Allow to bloom, or absorb the water, for 10 minutes.
Combine the remaining ½ cup water and the honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, swirling occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 240° F.
Turn the mixer on low, and with it running, slowly pour the hot honey syrup down the side of the bowl. Once it is all poured in, increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and beat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture and the outside of the bowl are at room temperature. The mixture will turn from brown to white and triple in volume.
Add the vanilla, palm shortening, arrowroot, and salt and beat on low until combined. Then beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until cooled and smooth.
The frosting can be used immediately or, for easier piping, place the frosting in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until set.
Tidbits: Tropical Traditions brand palm shortening or grass-fed unsalted butter works best with this recipe. Certain store-bought brands contain oils other than pure palm shortening and may make this frosting too runny. If the frosting turns out too runny, beat in additional palm shortening, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it comes together. For Spectrum brand shortening, use 2½ cups shortening and beat in 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup before refrigerating.
The frosting will hold up at room temperature (around 70° F) for a few hours but is easier to pipe when chilled. When mixing, if the frosting starts to look curdled, it is likely the gelatin mixture was not sufficiently cooled when the palm shortening was added, or the palm shortening was too warm when added. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, then resume beating until smooth. If the frosting is still curdled, beat in additional palm shortening, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth.
*The color of the honey used will dictate the color of this frosting. We suggest using a light-colored, mild-flavored raw honey, such as clover.