MoM Aug. ‘09 – ATK American Classics: Whoopie Pies

I was first introduced to Whoopie Pies by Martha Stewart who made them with her sons during one of her shows. I was really interested in the recipe, which I put into a plain notepad file on my PC desktop where it’s sat there for years, untouched. “One day, I’ll make these,” I’d tell myself, and of course never get around to it. Our latest Magazine of the Month had printed its own delectable version, so I decided to jump right in!

American Classics - Mini

Not really a cookie and not quite a cake, Whoopie Pies are about as big as your head and filled with a light, fluffy concoction of either vegetable shortening or marshmallow creme. This one brought to us by ATK involves marshmallow, which scared me at first because I’m not big on having a mouthful of marshmallow. When I took my first bite and found that the marshmallow had been diluted and refined slightly by adding lots of butter and a pinch of salt, a wonderful balance had been reached. The chocolate sandwich portion is quite soft and cake-like in texture, but strong enough to be held in your hands without breaking. You may think these are quite unremarkable, as did I when I first assembled them. But after I took the first bite — and then couldn’t stop myself — I realized how truly remarkable this little American classic is. Reportedly, when Amish farmers found these in their lunch pails, they would shout, “Whoopie!”

Whoopie Pies

Whoopie, indeed!

Whoopie Pies
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen: American Classics
Serves 6

Cakes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar (as fresh as you can get)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but still cool (I stick mine in the microwave for about 10 seconds)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Filling
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 tablespoon salt
1 3/4 – 2 cups marshmallow creme (just dump the whole jar of fluff in there)

For the cakes: Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

With electric mixer on medium speed, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat in one-third of flour mixture then half of buttermilk. Repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining buttermilk, and finally the remaining flour mixture. Using rubber spatula, give batter final stir.

Using 1/3 cup measure, scoop 6 mounds of batter onto each baking sheet ,spacing mounds about 3 inches apart. (Be sure to do this — they will spread out, big time!)

Whoopie Pies - batter
Sure, they look like German Shepard sized dog turds, but I promise they’ll come out of the oven looking delicious.

Bake until cakes spring back when pressed, 15 to 18 minutes, switching and rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool completely on baking sheets, at least 1 hour.

Whoopie Pies - baked
See? Amazing.

For the filling: With mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate filling until slightly firm, about 30 minutes. (Bowl can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Dollop 1/3 cup filling on center of flat side of 6 cakes. Top with flat side of remaining 6 cakes and gently press until filling spreads to edge of cake. Serve. Whoopie Pies can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 3 days.

Whoopie Pies - assembly

P.S. You’re welcome for the dog turd comment. LOL

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