Time for Whoopie Pies


When it comes to summer desserts in Maine, whoopie pies are right up there next to blueberry pie.  We were at a friend’s house for dinner last week and at some point, the conversation turned to whoopie pies.  My friend Elaine was remembering when we were testing these whoopie pie recipes.  She very happily volunteered as a taste tester.

Making whoopie pies requires about as much effort as making a cake from scratch.  After all the accolades, you will know the effort was very worthwhile.  Bring a batch of these classic whoppie pies to the next cookout and you will be everybody’s favorite guest.

Classic Whoopie Pies featured in Hannaford fresh July/August 2008

Our version of the classic, original whoopie: dark chocolate cakes with fluffy, vanilla-flavored white filling. Real butter makes the filling especially tasty.

Cook’s Note: Spraying the measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray helps the marshmallow creme come out more easily.

Dark Chocolate Cakes
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. instant coffee

Vanilla filling
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 cups marshmallow creme, such as Marshmallow Fluff

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix butter and brown sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth after each egg.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, stir together buttermilk, vanilla, and instant coffee until coffee is dissolved (this may take a minute or so); set aside.

3. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed until smooth, scraping down mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Add half the buttermilk mixture and mix again on medium speed until smooth and slightly fluffy in texture. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk, and mix until smooth. Batter will be thick and slightly springy when done.

4. Drop 2-Tbsp. portions of batter onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each portion to allow for spreading. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, until puffed and set but still soft when touched lightly with fingertips. Let cakes cook for 3 minutes on baking sheets before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

5. Prepare filling while cakes are baking and cooling. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix butter and vanilla until creamy. Add half the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low first to combine, then on high until smooth. Add remaining confectioners’ sugar and mix again. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula. Add marshmallow creme and mix on medium high until filling is smooth and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

6. Assemble whoopie pies. Spoon filling onto the flat sides of half the cakes, dividing it evenly. Top with remaining cakes, flat side against the filling, rounded side up. Serve immediately, or wrap and store at room temperature for up to two days, or in freezer for up to two months.

Source: Hannaford Fresh Magazine, July/Aug 2008

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