For Valentine’s Day, Brian and I made a scrumptious red velvet cake that you can check out at:

We devoured the cake in two nights, felt awful about our uncontrolled addictions, and planned to indulge in more red velvet. And by chance, we were looking at the Food Network Magazine and found this treasure: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.

For my culinary outward bound teambuilding events in New York City, this is the perfect dessert. Perfect. Imagine a roomful of lawyers, all nice people mind you, but lawyers who are intense, Ivy-league, and headed upward. They come to cook in our kitchen in Tribeca and what happens when they prepare these whoopie pies? The ties come off, the cuffs are rolled up and these folks are elbow deep in cookie dough and cream cheese for the filling. How do they react? It is all smiles, from ear to ear. Law school is forgotten and the best of childhood is back in their lives. Throwback desserts can restore your sense of wonder. A little chocolate and cream cheese can erase the tightest of tensions.

This dessert is simply magical. There is the dark red color of the cookie, the tenderness as you bite through, the enormity of two separate layers, and, of course, the chill and tang of the cream cheese filling. It’s a big cookie. I mean big. It’s perfectly satisfying to eat only one. Take that from a man who knows few bounds.

Oh, yes, at a recent wedding certain relatives of mine displayed similar red velvet addition patterns. So, Cousin Laurie, this one’s for you.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie

Yield: 24 really big ones

Cookie Ingredients:

• 1 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
• ½ ounces milk chocolate, chopped
• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• ½ cup sour cream
• 2 large eggs
• 1½ teaspoons apple cider
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon red food coloring
• 2½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt

Filling Ingredients:

• 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
• 3 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the semisweet and milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50 percent power until melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

Whisk the melted butter, sour cream, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring in a bowl until combined. In another bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3 Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in four equal batches, whisking each batch completely before adding the next. Stir in the melted chocolate.

4 Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets and smooth the tops with a damp finger. Bake until the cookies spring back when lightly pressed, about 7 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Sandwich a heaping tablespoonful of filling between 2 cookies; repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

Source: Food Network Magazine