By Guest Jan Drexler
You came here to be educated, I hope. You are in the presence of a homeschool mom.
Whoopie Pies originally came from the Amish in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The recipe has travelled, changed, been tweaked, flavored and gigantisized to the point that there are now two official versions – New England Style and Amish Style. The difference between the two is that the New England Style is made with marshmallow fluff as the filling.
That’s just crazy talk.
(Unless you’re from New England, of course.)
Back to the history lesson.
Amish legend says the treats got their name because when Amish school children found them in their lunch pails, they would shout “whoopee!”
In western Pennsylvania they call them “Gobs”, and have traditionally been a favorite of miners.
…or anyone who likes their cake with the frosting on the inside where it’s less messy.
And the State of Maine has recently made them the official state snack.
(But remember, they make theirs with marshmallow fluff, so does it really count?)
Of course, the only true Whoopie Pie is the original Amish treat.
My recipe is from a great book called “The Amish Cook”. It’s a collection of newspaper columns and recipes written by an Old Order Amish woman from Indiana, Elizabeth Coblentz. Elizabeth passed on several years ago, and the column is now being written by her daughter, Lovina. Kevin Williams is the editor and English end of the enterprise.
I’ve tweaked Elizabeth’s original recipe a bit, but the method of making these treats is still the same. If you want the original Amish taste and texture, use lard instead of butter. Yes, they’re wonderful that way, but I don’t always keep lard on hand. So I use butter. The cookies aren’t quite as light, but they still have a good crumb and flavor. And that’s what’s important, right?
The pies consist of two parts – the cake-like cookies and the filling. If you’re short on time, you may want to make the cookies one day and the filling the next – although be sure to keep the cookies away from your hungry family until you get the filling made…
Whoopie Pies (makes about 2 dozen pies)
(makes about 4 dozen, you need 2 for each pie)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup, minus 1 tablespoon milk
1 cup hot water
These cookies are made like a cake. To be successful in getting the right texture, repeat the following to yourself as you’re mixing the batter: “I’m making cake, not cookies. I’m making cake, not cookies. I’m making cake, not cookies.”
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a measuring cup, add milk to one tablespoon apple cider vinegar to make one cup, and let set for about five minutes to sour the milk.
Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt until the mixture is uniform in color.
In your mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth.
Add the flour mixture and the sour milk alternately, about ¼ of each at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the hot water and blend until smooth. You now have a thick, rich, chocolate cake batter.
Drop by tablespoon full, spaced apart, onto cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes, or until the top of the cookie springs back when lightly touched.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing them to wire racks to cool completely.
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
¾ cup butter
1 ½ cups powdered confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whisk the flour into the one cup milk. Heat in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
Pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, soften the butter to room temperature. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat for 7 minutes, or until fluffy.
These are also great frozen! Just wrap each one in plastic wrap and freeze.
[Editorial note from The Belle: Oh. My. Stars. Look at that last photo!!! Is your mouth watering, too?]