Whoopie pies were one of my favorite treats growing up in Central PA. At our local farmer’s market, there was a stand run by Amish cooks, and let me tell you, their food is amazing. I could go on about the homemade chicken pot pie (which is like a stew) and the shoofly pie (basically sugar poured into a crust), but for now, I’ll stick with whoopie pies.
Two cake-like cookies (which are often the size of softballs) are filled with fluffy frosting and sandwiched together. They can be made in flavors like pumpkin, red velvet, and chocolate peanut butter, but my favorite is the traditional chocolate with vanilla filling. The cookie recipe I used is from Epicurious, and the filling recipe is a combination of a few recipes that I feel makes the most authentic sweet stuff. Whenever I make whoopie pies, my tasters are always apprehensive about the size of the hefty desserts, but it must not be too much of an issue, as there are never any left at the end of the day.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. flour
2 T. milk
1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.
Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld, then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.
Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 buttered large baking sheets. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.
Combine all ingredients and beat very hard for several minutes at high speed.
To make the whoopie pies, spread a generous amount of filling on a completely cooled cookie. Top with another cookie. Wrap each pie individually in plastic wrap.
Makes 14-16 cookies and therefore 7-8 whoopie pies.