Last night Ms. Jeannie had a craving for a little dessert. So she pulled out her recipe books and flipped through the pages to see what jumped out at her. As luck would have it, she discovered she had all the ingredients on hand to make Whoopie Pies, one of Mr. Jeannie Ology’s favorites.
If you’ve never had a Whoopie Pie, it is kind of like a cross between a homemade oreo cookie, an ice cream sandwich and cake. Here’s a picture of one from Ms. Jeannie’s batch…
It is essentially a whipped peanut butter cream filling sandwiched between two chocolate cake mounds. You can use all sorts of different types of filling (sweet cream, mint, maple cream, etc) but Mr. Jeannie Ology is such a nut for peanut butter, she decided to surprise him with a little sweet treat.
Originally made famous by the Pennsylvania Dutch, Ms. Jeannie first learned of whoopie pies when she visited Amish Country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania years ago.
While flipping through Martha Stewart Living magazine some years later, Ms. Jeannie came across the recipe. So that’s the one she uses. You’ll find that version of the recipe listed at the bottom of this blog post.
Sources trace the first whoopie pie back to the early 1920’s. Named from the sheer delight of discovering such a treat, eaters of the delicious dessert often said “whoopie” when they were offered one to enjoy.
Both Maine and Pennsylvania are the state leaders when it comes to the commercial production of the whoopie pie. Maine loves them so much they are considered the official state treat.
Labadie’s Bakery in Maine has been making whoopie pies in the same location since 1925!
And every September in Pennsylvania, in the heart of Amish Country, occurs the Whoopie Pie Festival, where people participate in all sorts of challenging feats like the whoopie pie treasure hunt, the whoopie long shot, whoopie checkers, whoopie yell off, whoopie pie eating contest and more!
It’s an easy dessert to make and a fun project for little ones., since they can help spread the filling and make the “sandwiches”. Etsy has all the equipment you need to make your own batch of wonderfully delicious whoopie pies. All you need are the following…
Two mixing bowls:
One hand held mixer or stand alone electric mixer (this one comes with both!)
One wire whisk:
One large baking tray:
One wire cooling rack:
Or for those that aren’t the baking sort, you can buy them already made in a variety of flavors!
to red velvet…
to vegan pumpkin cinnamon…
to lemon buttercream…
Either way, whether you decide to make them yourself or by them already prepared you are in for a sweet treat!
Here’s the recipe that Ms. Jeannie used. Many thanks to Martha Stewart for incorporating the peanut butter:)
Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies –
Makes 18 Cookie Sandwiches
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Peanut Butter Buttercream
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; set aside.
- Add butter, shortening, and sugars to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; cream on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture. Beat together, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Drop 12 slightly rounded tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of oven, 10 minutes; switch the positions of the baking sheets, and rotate each one. Continue baking until the cookies spring back to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes more.
- Remove from oven; let cookies cool on baking sheets, 10 minutes.Transfer with a metal spatula to a wire rack; let cool completely. Meanwhile, line a cooled baking sheet with a new piece of parchment; repeat process with remaining batter.
- Spread 1 scant tablespoon buttercream on flat sides of half the cookies.Top each with one of the remaining cookies, flat side down, and gently press together. Transfer pies to a tray.
- Melt half the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; add remaining chocolate, and stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip (Ateco #2 or #3) or a small parchment cone. Pipe chocolate in a spiral pattern on top of each pie. Let chocolate set before serving, about 1 hour.
BLOG UPDATE! A lovely reader wrote in to say that Maine has its own Whoopie Festival too! This year, the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival is held on June 23rd from 10:00am – 4:00pm in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.
Like the Pennsylvania Whoopie Pie Festival, there is a bevy of themed activities, but one of the most creative is the Whoopie Pie Trail which takes you on a tour of several bakeries in the Dover-Foxcroft area. This sounds like one delicious way to spend an afternoon!