Makin' Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies, a.k.a. Gobs, are made from two chocolaty cake-like cookies, filled with fluffy frosting. They're sweet, freeze well, and are difficult to pass up. Supposedly they originated among the Amish, who had extra cake batter and frosting to use. Whoopie Pies are well-known throughout the Pennsylvania Dutch region and in New England. You can even order them on the Internet from Maine. True Americana!

These delicious treats are, in a word, nostalgic. I grew up knowing them as Gobs. My mom made them in the summer in preparation for family get-togethers at a lake in Minnesota. She would lovingly bake and frost the Gobs, wrap each in plastic wrap, and fill a few ice cream pails with them. Kept in the freezer until travel time, they were barely thawed when we reached the cabin. My siblings, cousins, and I would eagerly scoop them up and gobble them down. The whole lot was usually gone in about 30 minutes. Hours of work . . . gone in 30 minutes. But, oh!, how we loved them, and the memories live on. Thanks, Mom!

How to make Whoopie Pies

Bake the cake-like cookies, whip up the frosting, put them together and you have Whoopie Pies. Wrap each in plastic wrap and store in the freezer, unless they are eaten first!

The Cookies (makes 64 cookies for 32 pies)

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cinnamon (optional)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
2. Sift dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs, one at a time. Then add buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
5. Gradually add dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
6. Use a 1-oz. ice cream scoop to scoop batter onto parchment lined baking sheets. Space about 2 inches apart.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.

The Filling

Some recipes call for a marshmallow crème filling or seven-minute frosting. My favorite is with fluffy buttercream.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
5-6 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk or half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add powdered sugar gradually, alternating with a little milk. Beat well after each addition.
3. Add vanilla and beat well. Add more powdered sugar or milk as necessary to achieve a fluffy, spreadable buttercream.


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