Pies…..Whoopie Pies. But since I got your attention, you may as well read a little further, right? Since you are here and all.
In the Northeast, they are called Whoopie Pies. The theory is that Amish cooks would spoon the dollops of leftover cake batter into little globs, and bake them to test the temperature of their ovens. When they emerged, the kids got to eat them, resulting in happy shouts of “Whoopie!”.
In Pennsylvania, they are called Gobs, presumably due to their resemblance to piles of leftover coal bits of the same name. It IS a big coal mining area, so that sounds plausible enough to me.
In the South, we call them Moon Pies, and they go famously well with RC Cola. The song says so, and so do southern Grandmas. I also read it in “The Southern Belle Primer”, so I know it’s true.
Whatever you call them, who can resist the idea of them? The soft tender cookie cakes, with marshmallow fluff filling…That’s the idea of them anyway. The unfortunate reality is that the mass-produced, store-bought kind are rather like two cardboard discs–with a rubber glue filling. Devoid of any real flavor, and like most foods prepared for long shelf life, pretty unimpressive texture. But if you have never had a fresh, homemade one, then why not now? They are super simple, very yummy, and the possible combinations of cake and filling flavors are so endless, it boggles the mind. This creates a bit of a dilemma for someone who gets a bit ADHD in the kitchen.
Of course, the traditional chocolate with marshmallow filling, when homemade, is sheer bliss. But think of Pumpkin Cakes with Eggnog filling, and Ginger Cakes with Lemon Cream, Chocolate with Peppermint filling, or Coffee filling, or Peanut Butter filling…..Green Tea, Lavender, Lemon Poppy-seed, Champagne! Please, somebody stop me! And then you can really sass up the sides by rolling them, after they are filled, in crushed candy, chocolate shavings, sprinkles, sanding sugar….It’s enough to my head spinning. Again.
In typical fashion, I went a little nuts this weekend, and created several Holiday inspired flavors. For goodness’ sake, it did finally get below 70 degrees here. Even with a house full of 13-year-old boys, though, it was overkill. But they were so good, and I cannot emphasize this enough, so easy.
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup high quality Dutch-process cocoa powder (I use Valrhona)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 cups marshmallow cream
- 2 teaspoon good quality vanilla bean paste, or vanilla
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 15 oz can Organic pumpkin puree (yes, it matters)
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons finely diced crystallized ginger
From left, Mason, Brennan, and Max (that one belongs to me), scarf Moon Pies.