Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wonderful Whoopie Pies

Has anyone else noticed I enjoy alliteration way too much? Wonderful Whoopie Pies, Cake Pop Conundrum, Battle Biscotti....maybe I should start working with other literary tricks for my titles.

Well, after this post I mean. ;)

As the name implies, today's post is about the fantastic treat that is the whoopie pie. Whether they originated in Pennsylvania or Maine really doesn't matter much to me; as long as they're delicious, I'm for them. Although, to be fair, my first whoopie pie WAS in Maine when vacationing with my boyfriend's family. Homemade, actually, by his grandmother, and I cannot express just how amazing it was. Oatmeal with Vanilla Cream, they were just so homey and delicious; though I never did manage to acquire that recipe.

So I thought I'd try them out for the first time this week, since I had an urge to be a little more adventurous than usual. And what better way to be adventurous than to test out a chocolate chip whoopie pie recipe from Tracy's Culinary Adventures? The men in my family only eat chocolate chip cookies anyway, so I figured I could get them to taste test these for me.

Warning: Making Whoopie Pies is uber fun and rewarding, but messy. Note whirlwind that blew through my kitchen.

Although slightly intimidated (I mean, they make specific pans to make whoopie pies, and here I am, thinking I'll just make them the hard-core, no pans way) I was determined to succeed in this recipe, which wasn't as difficult as I thought it'd be. The dough...batter...whatever you want to call it, isn't too difficult to work with if you have a nice little ice cream scoop or melon baller. The key, I found, is to be really patient when getting the   batter (dough) onto the cookie sheet.

Pick the spot on your parchment-lined cookie sheet, turn over your scooper, and wait. Do not rush it or shake the scooper. You really want it to just fall out of it onto the sheet so that it retains a somewhat round shape. This is the one point where I am sure that a whoopie pie pan might come in handy, but people made these without pans before, so I see no reason to buy one if it's not absolutely necessary. I may be a little lazy when it comes to Cake Pops, but these don't take over three hours to prepare.

Success! Ah, there's nothing more satisfying to me than a recipe gone right. There were a few that were slightly misshapen, but that's what makes them homemade, right? Good eats are good eats.

SPEAKING of good eats, another word of caution for all of those who, like me, enjoy licking the spoon after baking. Although shortening makes these cake-like cookies moist and delicious after they're baked, it does make the batter taste like, well, shortening. Definitely not good eats, trust me. I hope I saved a few of you from my overly-eager mistake.

So, we flip - we pipe, and voila - whoopie pies! I guess you could just slab on some frosting as opposed to pipe, but piping is way more fun and looks great.

These were a smash hit at my house - Dad ate three in one night and even the picky-eater brother ate two. I think I ate about three or four as well, so this is a keeper, for sure.

My last suggestion when trying this out - don't substitute the shortening for butter. Seriously, I know shortening is kind of...strange, but it's key to how these cookies spread. It might make the unbaked batter taste awful, but the end product is to-die-for. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies
Via Tracy's Culinary Adventures

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp vegetable shortening (Crisco)
4 tbsp butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
(*Note, if you don't have buttermilk, put 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar in the bottom of the measuring cup and pour enough milk to reach 1/2 cup. Let sit for 10 minutes and presto! buttermilk! )
2 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate, larger bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and both sugars, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and buttermilk.
3. In a small bowl, mix together baking soda, vinegar, and milk. Add to the batter all at once with the dry ingredient mixture, and beat until everything is mixed and smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Use a small ice cream scooper/melon baller, to measure out spoonfuls of batter onto the parchment-lined sheets.  Leave 2 inches of space between each scoop, cookies spread during baking.
5. Bake at 375 for 9-10 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown and the cookie springs back when lightly poked with your finger.
6. Let cool for 10 minutes on the pan, then carefully remove to cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons heavy cream (I just used milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

1.  Sift together sugar and cocoa powder.
2. Add butter and beat on low until crumbly, then add cream, vanilla extract, and salt.
3. Beat until fluffy.

Whoopie Pies on FoodistaWhoopie Pies


  1. Ha. I'm totally intimidated by whoopie pies. Thanks for all the great tips. They look yummy!

  2. Great job on these. I have never made nor eaten one. I would love to but they aren't popular here. Odd if you ask me. They look seriously yummy!

  3. I found you from the foodie blog roll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this whoopie pies widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about making whoopie pies,thanks!

  4. Thank you all for commenting! It's so nice to have such positive feedback :D <3