Thursday, February 03, 2011

Valentine Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies.

I'm about to climb on my soapbox here, so either settle in,
or scroll down to the actual recipe.
This could get ugly.

Like I was saying:

Whoopie Pies.

That delicious, American Original dessert, ostensibly created by
Amish women when confronted with an excess of cake batter.
Sent lovingly with their men into the fields where, upon discovering
the sweet treat in their lunches, would yell,
I'm pretty certain there is no connection to the other connotation of the word.

Now, here's my problem:

Whoopie Pies are springing up all over the food-o-sphere.
In basically as many variations as there are cake and frosting.
And all are delicious! I mean, what could be bad about
a yummy pumpkin cake/cookie schmeared with fluffy cream cheese frosting?
Nothing in my book.
I'd eat 'em all the live long day!
I just wouldn't call themWhoopie Pies.

Let me explain:

I count myself as a member of that particular group of people who harbor very protective feelings about the Amish and all things ascribed to them.
I see them as quaint, peace-loving, artistic people who embrace a simpler,
very devout way of life. Their love of God and family mirrors
my own feelings and their sense of community is beyond compare.
While I can't see myself personally adhering to their strict way of life, I do respect and appreciate it.
I mean, the quilts alone--devine!!


I think the area in which the Amish utterly excel
and where a good deal of my respect resides is the food.
My mom had an Amish cookbook that I used to pour over
even as a 10-12 year old.
The fact that it held my attention even then (sans photographs) is a testament to how scrumptious the recipes sounded.
My favorite being the Amish Stew that I faithfully use today.
Lucky Amish that they can stick to the traditional use of
butter, lard, and cream
and still maintain a lifestyle that allows the correct
metabolism to avoid obesity.

I have to stick to moderation.

That being said, the correct, traditional Amish definition of a
Whoopie Pie
is a Dark Chocolate cake filled with a
fluffy white filling which utilizes a flour/milk thickener.

Oh, and shortening.

The filling contains shortening.

This gives me pause, as I find it a rather abhorrent ingredient
to put in anything. I avoid it whenever I possibly can and only
include it in recipes that would be sacrilege to alter.
Like Lunch Lady Peanutbutter Fingers.
But that is another post for another day.

I digress--

Just put the shortening in and forget about it.
It's not that much in the grand scheme of things and
if you've ever eaten a Twinkie, well, you're obviously still here,
so it's gonna be okay.

FACT: Cake sandwiches with frosting in between
do not a Legitimate Whoppie Pie make.
Long hours of discussion with my BFF Kellie,
who left her heart in Lancaster County PA bears this out.

So make 'em however you want, with whatever you want,
but for the sake of avoiding discombobulation and
degridation of this American Classic, we will call them:
Cake Sandwiches Not To Be Confused With Legit Whoopie Pies.

This recipe comes straight out of BFF Kellie's box.

i.e. Legit Whoopie Pies.

The addition of raspberry curd is my own just to dress them up for Valentines Day and because raspberry never made anything taste worse.

For a truly original version, just make the cake/cookie and filling and Enjoy!

**Another seemingly huge recipe, but DON'T WORRY! Just break it down into parts and take your time! It is a lot to accomplish in one day so make your curd first. It can easily sit a couple of days in the refrigerator. Then make the cookie/cake portion. I do the filling last.**

Whoopie Pies
Mix until smooth:
1 cup cocoa
1 cup hot water

Cool 5 minutes.

Cream together:
1 cup shortening
3 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
cooled cocoa mix from above

Sift together:
5 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add to above mixture alternately with :
1 cup buttermilk

Make sure you mix well (but don't over mix!) or you'll get pie halves that do this:

Scoop onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheet using a large level scoop (I use the 3 Tblsp. size for large pies. I get about 20-24 finished pies. You could use a 2 Tblsp. size.) Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-11 minutes. Cool on pan a minute, then remove to a cooling rack. When cooled, set aside. Keep unused batter in refrigerator until ready to bake.

Filling for Whoopie Pies

6 Tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoon vanilla (use clear vanilla if you want really white filling)

Mix the flour and salt in a small saucepan. Slowly whisk in milk. Stir and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Cool in fridge.

Cream shortening and powdered sugar in a mixer. Add vanilla and chilled milk mixture. Mix well. I run the mixture through a sieve at this point just to get rid of any flour lumps. Return to mixing bowl and mix for 7 minutes. I use the wire whisks for the filling.

Fold in as much raspberry curd as you like according to your taste.


Match up the whoopie pie cookies as best as you can. Spread filling on one half and sandwich with matching half. I like a lot of filling, use what you want. I individually wrap whoopie pies and store in the refrigerator (or freezer).

Give these a try and as always, I'd love your feedback!


Janeal said...

Tammy, you are KILLING me! I want to make every recipe you ever post, but then I just think of how many ways I could ruin it and I get depressed. I'll pay you for cooking lessons!

Kristine said...

Those look so good! I'm definitely going to try it. I have to say though - the real whoopie pies I have tried aren't sweet in the middle. May as well be straight shortening if you ask me! This looks like it's sweet with all that sugar. So, I'll try it.

Unknown said...
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Pamela said...

Your pictures are so beautiful. Can you come over and take all my food photos?? Yummy!!!

Lisa said...

Oh yum, what a delicious way to use that raspberry curd of yours. Almost like eating a chocolate raspberry truffle. If you come to join my linky party, definitely feel free to link these up as well.

kellieanne said...

I love this post for several reasons.

1. I love Whoopie Pies - real Whoopie Pies.

2. I love seeing the BFF in front of my name, placed there so lovingly by my BFF.

3. LOVE the beautiful photography! Yummers!

4. I never even considered that adding anything to these babies would make them taste so wonderful. Notice how I was refusing to share all the raspberry ones?

4. Did I mention I love Whoopie Pies?

Luck (noun) - The substance one has within to pick out a BF that can simutaneously fill their belly and spirit with goodness and beauty.

I'm full of luck!

Shawn said...

Love the "soap box" commentary and education on Whoopie Pies! I never knew...Anyway, I'm convinced that I have to try these :)

Jenn said...

My first few batches are just coming out of the oven. They don't look as pretty as yours... it seems as if they didn't spread out as much, and they're kind of tall. Does that mean I under-mixed the batter?

Unknown said...

Since the filling has milk do these need to be refrigerated or are they ok at room temperature? I'm making these this morning. :)

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