Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

I will readily admit that I do not enjoy baking, due in part, no doubt, to an unimpassioned sweet tooth. I'd much rather fix a rack of lamb than bake cookies any day. However, my boys understand the language of love spoken through the efforts of sweet treats that emerge from the kitchen more than they do from a well-crafted Greek salad.

Pity, as I do make a mean Greek salad.

For those of you who can't resist baking on Valentine's Day, here's a confection sure to bring a smile to your little loves underfoot, and perhaps to your Valentine. Don't bother offering me one, thank you. I'll take a rosy piece of seared Ahi if you've got any. Happy Valentine's Day!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Cookies 1 box Devil’s Food cake mix 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup vegetable oil 3 eggs 2 tablespoons red food color 1 box (4-serving size) chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix

Filling 1 cup butter, softened 2 cups marshmallow creme 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat cookie ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until moistened; beat 1 minute longer on high speed.

Fill large ziploc bag with batter, and snip corner of bag for piping. Pipe 1 1/2 inch "hershey's kiss" drops, or heart shapes, 2 inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until set (do not overbake). Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. For each cookie pie, spread about a teaspoon of filling in between two layers. Sandwiched cookies can be stored in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper for a week.

That's the recipe for makin' whoopie (pies).