Found in Maine to Pennsylvania’s Amish country, to small pockets around the country from New England to Ohio, have enjoyed the delectable whoopie pie. Sometimes described as a cookie, though that isn’t quite right, either, the closets description may be a cake-like sandwich.
So it seems now whoopie pies are migrating across the country, appearing in specialty shops and grocery stores, finding their place right next to cupcakes.
Popular flavors are chocolate and pumpkin. Being noted as “pure edible nostalgia” by Williams-Sonoma, the snack’s popularity comes from is homespun era feeling, evoking comfort in a time of economic gloom.
The filling of the whoopie pie is generally one of two types: a thick, sweet frosting made from Crisco shortening combined with confectioner’s sugar, or a dollop of Marshmallow Fluff.
The cake itself is typically not especially sweet, and is often a bit on the dry side, lending all the sweetness to the gooey center.
And now for a
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Whoopie Pie Filling (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together shortening, sugar, and egg. In another bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl, stir the vanilla extract into the milk. Add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture, alternating with the milk mixture; beating until smooth.
Drop batter by the 1/4 cup (to make 18 cakes) onto prepared baking sheets. With the back of a spoon spread batter into 4-inch circles, leaving approximately 2 inches between each cake. Bake 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Make Whoopie Pie Filling. When the cakes are completely cool, spread the flat side (bottom) of one chocolate cake with a generous amount of filling. Top with another cake, pressing down gently to distribute the filling evenly. Repeat with all cookies to make 9 pies. Wrap whoopie pies individually in plastic wrap, or place them in a single layer on a platter (do not stack them, as they tend to stick).
To freeze, wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap. Loosely pack them in a plastic freezer container and cover. To serve, defrost the wrapped whoopie pies in the refrigerator.
Makes 9 large whoopie pies.
Whoopie Pie Filling:
1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups Marshmallow Fluff**
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* Butter may be substituted for all or part of the vegetable shortening, although traditional Whoopie Pies are made with vegetable shortening only.
** Marshmallow Creme may be substituted.
In a medium bow, beat together shortening, sugar, and Marshmallow fluff; stir in vanilla extract until well blended.