Hairy whoopie pie spiders

These deliciously soft chocolate cookies are sandwiched together with buttercream, then given a spooky twist by adding a hairy back, legs and eyes.

Makes: 20

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter, softened

125g caster sugar

1egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

175g self-raising flour

40g cocoa powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

150g natural yogurt

75ml whole milk

 

Filling

150g unsalted butter, softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

few drops food colouring, plus extra to decorate

 

Decoration

50g desiccated coconut

2 tbsp apricot jam, gently warmed

2 packs strawberry laces, rowntree’s randoms rip’ems or similar sweets

38g tube smarties or similar sweets

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4. Line 3 large baking sheets with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Sieve in the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda, then add the yogurt and milk; beat together to a thick batter. Drop heaped teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets, spacing them to allow for a little spreading. Bake for 15 minutes (you may need to do this in batches), then cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

2. For the filling, beat the butter with electric beaters, until light and fluffy. Beat the icing sugar in gradually, then beat in a few drops of food colouring. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto the flat side of half of the pies (or, spread it on with a spoon). Sandwich another pie-half on top.

3. To decorate the whoopie pies, put the coconut in a resealable freezer bag. Add a drop or two of food colouring, seal the bag and shake well. Using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of the warmed jam over the pies, then sprinkle on the coconut. For the spiders’ legs, cut the strawberry laces into pieces and stick them into the filling. Finally, add eyes, using Smarties.