Monday, January 31, 2011

Whoopie Pies

Have you ever had a whoopie pie?  Whoopie pies are a quintessential New England dessert and a memorable treat from my childhood.  My mom would make them every once in a while.  Oh, to come home from school to a platter of chocolate whoopie pies!  Yum!

There is a debate about where whoopie pies originated.  Some say these goodies originated in New England, others say with the Amish.  There is also debate about what ingredients should be in the filling.  Most often recipes suggest a mixture of sugar, butter and Marshmallow Fluff, but that is not the filling I prefer.  The whoopie pie of my childhood was made with a cooked flour and milk mixture added to sugar and shortening for the filling.  I have never eaten a whoopie pie with a Marshmallow Fluff filling and I don't plan to start now. 

Recently there was a Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network that highlighted the whoopie pies made by Cranberry Island Kitchen in Maine.  The Cranberry Island whoopie pies have received national attention, but the recipes I've seen for their whoopie pies are made with Fluff.   I'm sure their whoopie pies are delicious, but there is only one whoopie pie for me.

Ever since I saw that whoopie pie throwdown I've had whoopie pies on my mind.  It's like that itch that just won't go away.  It's time to scratch the itch!  Let's make the whoopie pie of my youth...

Whoopie Pie Ingredients

Just One Donna's Whoopie Pies
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons solid shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt


Using a mixer, beat sugar, egg, cocoa and shortening  together well.  Add 1 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt.  Mix well and drop by tablespoon one inch apart on ungreased sheet pan.  Press into circles of equal size.  Bake 6-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

I used a cookie scoop to make uniform sized cakes.  

Whoopie Pie Batter Ready for the Oven
The batter made 28 cakes, each pan baking about 10 minutes rather than the lesser 6 minutes of the recipe.  You want the cakes to spring back when lightly touched.
Whoopie Pie Cakes Fresh from the Oven

The Filling
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup solid shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and flour and cook, stirring constantly until it forms a thick paste. You want it to come to a boil.  This will help to cook out the flour taste.
Keep Cooking Until It Bubbles and Thickens
Let cool.  It gets thick like a pudding as it cools.

Mixture Will Thicken and Look Lumpy

In a medium bowl, beat sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add cooled flour mixture and beat until double in volume.   You'll want to really beat the filling, approximately 5 minutes.  Feel the filling between your fingers.  If you feel the sugar granules you'll need to beat longer.
Turn the little cakes over on their backs. Spoon a dollop of filling onto half of the little cakes. Place the other half of the cakes on top of the filling to form sandwiches.
A Plate of Whoopie Pies

Wrap individually.  The cakes will stick to each other if you leave them together on a plate.  Individually wrapping them makes them easier to keep and eat.  Freezing is great as well.

Individually Wrapped Whoopie Pies

Do you have any candy canes left from Christmas?  Crush them finely and mix in with the whoopie pie filling.  Yummy!  You could also roll the edges in the crushed candy cane. 
The debate is over.  These are the ONLY whoopie pies!
Click the link for the printable whoopie pie recipe is here:  I hope you love them as much as I do!

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