Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Whoopie Pies

So I'm originally from the NE part of this country, and as a child remember having whoopie pies. Whoopie pies are a devils food-like cookie that has a creme filling between a bottom and upper half. In fact I haven't had one since I was a kid.

I have someone I've come to know on Facebook who recently sent me a recipe for, you guessed it, Whoopie Pies! Further, it turns out he had found the recipe on a card from his mother's stock of recipes. (Here's the link to his website) I LOVE old recipes. I remember, as I've often said, as a child baking with my grandmother, and although oftentimes she never used a recipe, she did have some recipe cards in her pantry. I used to look at these, and since her handwriting was indecipherable to me, I was amazed anybody could make anything using them. The other thing I remember is they were always stained with vanilla, or flour, or chocolate, or whatever she had spilled on them over the years.

Anyway, obviously I HAD to make these and did. Took them to work and people raved. Try 'em, you'll like 'em.

I modified the recipe a bit, but only slightly. I wanted to keep it as true to Mom Wymans recipe as I could.

2 1/2 cups King Arthur bread flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening (Yes, shortening. It won't hurt ya this one time)
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Mix well and refrigerate the dough for 15 mintues in the refrigerator. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie. Leave some room between the cookies as they should spread. I used parchment paper and that seemed to retard the spreading and as a result the cookies were taller which made for a huge cookie when put together. In other words, I'd omit the parchment paper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. They may not look quite done when you take them out, but they are, don't worry. Let them cool on the sheet for 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now for the filling:

Remember, this is an old time recipe and this filling is kind of different. But, don't substitute if you can help it. This filling fits the cookie perfectly, it's not overly sweet, the texture is perfect, and it appropriately oozes out when eating the Whoopie Pie.

Heat 3 tablespoons flour and 1/2 cup whole milk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a thick ball forms. Let this cool slightly and add it to a mixing bowl and add 2 cup confectioners sugar, 4 tablespoons of butter (melted), 8 tablespoons of warmed shortening, vanilla, and salt to taste. Whip these ingredients together at high speed for 4 - 6 minutes. It won't aerate, but will get smoother and smoother. Let the filling sit for 15 - 20 minutes so it will cool off slightly.

Spoon filling onto the flat side of one cookie, and top with the bottom of another cookie. Dust with confectioners sugar if you like.

Enjoy! John, thanks for the recipe and the memories.


Chef Tess said...

At last the long awaited recipe of glory! That filling recipe is very similar to a frosting my mother made most of my life...but she used butter instead of the shortening. Hmmm. Love this recipe already and haven't made it yet! Thanks Ron...and John too. The anticipation alone has been awesome...can't wait to try it!

Themerlinmenu said...

At the risk of stating something I'm sure you know, the interesting thing about shortening vs. butter is that shortening has a higher melting temperature, so when baking the shortening will allow the baked good to rise higher before it begins to melt and bring it down. That's why pie crusts with shortening are so fluffy, and biscuits with shortening are so high and fluffy, and THAT'S why the Whoopie Pies have shortening....

LOL, I know you knew, but I had to let you know that I knew also.

Anonymous said...

Can I use 12 Tbsp. of butter for the filling. It seem I cannot make myself to it shortening in the filling.

The Merlin Menu said...

Actually, No, I don't think you should substitute butter in this case. The shortening creates a certain type of filling based upon an old time recipe.

What you CAN do however, is do a marshmallow creme filling, as follows:

1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff (or other prepared marshmallow cream, which will do in a pinch)
1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Marshmallow Fluff and the vegetable shortening, staring on low and increasing to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.

Using a knife or spoon, spread the filling onto the flat side of a cooled cake. Top with another cake, flat side down. Repeat with the remaining cakes and serve.

Please not however, that even this recipe calls for a bit of shortening.

There's just no way around it I guess. Without shortening, the filling will "leak" and just drip out of the Whoopie, which we certainly don't want.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!

ChefJohn said...

Ron and Anonymous,

I would not personally recommend using marshmallow cream in the filling except in extreme (as in never) cases. To me it is just not a whoopie pie where the filling oozes out with each and every bite.

The Merlin Menu said...

I'm with ya John. When I made these, I thought the filling was perfect. But some people want to vary, ya know?

Ha ha. You run a tight ship John, I love it.