Whoopie Pies - Just One Donna!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Whoopie Pies


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, what a treat 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 all 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 pies of my youth...


Whoopie Pie Ingredients

Just One Donna's Whoopie Pies
Ingredients
  • 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

Directions

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 twenty-eight 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
Directions 
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the 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 the Mixture Bubbles and Thickens
Let the mixture cool.  It thickens to a pudding consistency as it cools.

Mixture Will Thicken and Look Lumpy

In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add the 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

I like to wrap each whoopie pie 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 them 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 for me!  Click the link for the printable whoopie pie recipe.  I hope you love them as much as I do!
Donna

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