Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Making Whoopie

Before moving to Maine, I guess I had heard about whoopie pies, but they did not leave a big impression on me. Once I got here though, they were everywhere. Restaurants of all shapes and sizes claim to make the best or biggest (I’m talking dinner plate size). But to tell you the truth, I never really felt the urge to eat one. They were always packed into tightly wrapped cellophane with their fillings pressed up against its edges. There were chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry, maple and the list goes on from there.

Until at work one day we celebrated a birthday. My coworker had specified that we were not to get her a cake, but some of us wanted to do something at least. I mean who could pass up the chance to take a 15 minute break to convene in the kitchen and chit chat. So despite her protests, a friend of mine offered to make whoopie pies for everyone. I was indifferent to that decision, but everyone else was on board, so who was I to poo poo such a Maine tradition.
I wish I had taken pictures of those whoopie pies, but alas, they were consumed far too fast. Each one was a perfect sand dollar sized sandwich of heaven. After my first few bites, I managed to stop shoving the whoopie pie in my face long enough to lean over to another coworker and ask “Do all whoopie pies taste like this?!”
“No.” She told me emphatically. Thank goodness I thought to myself, if they did I would no longer be able to resist them at restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations. I was also happy to know that I hadn’t been missing out all these months. But the ones my friend had put together were far superior to the average (I’m willing to go so far as to say ALL) whoopie pies.
I like the ‘special dark’ cocoa powder in this – I find that it gives chocolate desserts a deeper flavor, and not to mention the fact that the color is so intense. The batter for the cakes is unlike any batter I have made or seen before. It has an almost thick, sticky consistency, but bakes up dense. When I was talking to my friend she told me it’s similar to a thick pancake batter – which is completely accurate.

Despite the lopsided and misshapen examples I have here for you, these are very easy to prepare and don’t take a lot of time.
P.S. If any of you have tried any of the recipes I have shared here – please let me know how they have turned out! Leave comments on the post that corresponds to the recipe – and if something doesn’t work out as well, again please let me know. I want t make sure these recipes are perfect for you!!

Whoopie Pies by Mainer, Sharon Beaulieu

For cakes
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
* 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 large egg

For filling
* 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
* 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
* 2 cups marshmallow cream such as Marshmallow Fluff
* 1 teaspoon vanilla

Make cakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl at medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.

For Large Whoopie Pies: Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 buttered large baking sheets.

For smaller Whoopie pies: Drop spoonfuls, onto large baking sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.

Make filling:
Beat together butter, confectioner’s sugar, marshmallow, and vanilla in a bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Spoon filling onto the flat side of one cake, press the other flat side of another cake on top to push the filling out towards the edges. 


1 comment:

  1. Loved the whoopie pies - like you, hesitated because of gas station fare - devoured a wonderful one at jordan Pond House - then . . .met perfection in your recipe - this may become my favorite chocolate cake recipe.


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