Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Alice's Whoopie Pies
Whoopie pies are a well known treat here in New England. They're popular for potlucks and school lunches; I see them at bake sales. They never fail to please or to elicit a gasp of delight, "Whoopie pies!" Young and old light up when they see these marshmallow filled chocolate "cake sandwiches" and for good reason, they're darned good!
I have a dear friend, Alice, who is a great cook. She always cooking up something special for her family and grandchildren. These whoopie pies are among them. I asked her for the recipe, and Alice graciously shared. This is what she wrote.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
3/4 cup marshmallow fluff
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
You know the rest. 350 degrees. Enjoy.
LOL. I did "know the rest" but just in case you don't, allow me to elaborate for you.
Generously grease two cookie sheets (or do as I do and use parchment paper). Set aside. Preheat your oven to 350F.
Combine all the whoopie pie ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Stir or mix until well combined. The batter will be kind of thick -- thicker than a boxed cake mix, for example, because you want to be able to scoop it out without running all over your cookie sheets.
Now with a tablespoon, scoop out the batter and drop it onto the cookie sheet and spread in about 2-inch circles. (Make the circles as evenly shaped as possible as you're going to sandwich them together afterwards.) The batter spreads so I only put 8 to 10 on a sheet. I have squeezed on 12, but they can tend to run together. So my saged advice is, until you get the feel for the batter and how it works, I'd go with 8 cookies per sheet, 2 x 4, leaving plenty of space in between. Make an even number, as you'll be using two for each whoopie pie. (Though the odd one is often enjoyed by the cook!)
Bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. When you check for doneness, look to see if it's lost its shine and you when gently touch the center does it springs back. Cool. I leave them on the pan to cool because the cookies can be a little delicate (they are tender, thin cakes after all). Or you could move them, parchment and all to a cooling rack.
Once the cookies are all made, prepare the filling. Place all the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix, blending well. Now if you're like Alice and me, you'll double the filling!
Once the cookies are cooled, use a thin, wide spatula to remove them from the pan. I set them in two rows, two by two, the bottoms of the cakes facing up towards me. Spread a nice dollop of filling on one half of the whoopies. And when the filling is all used up, go back and put on the covers, bottom side facing the filling.
Wrap individually in waxed paper or plastic wrap. They'll keep a couple of days, I think, but I can't swear to it. We've never had them around long enough to find out for sure.
Stand back and watch faces light up.