Whoopie pies actually have a short but sweet history at my house. I am not from the East Coast where they are a well loved traditional treat, nor did my grandmother make them from an old family recipe. I had never even heard of them until a few years ago when I saw my first whoopie pie on Unwrapped, via the Food Network, and was mesmerized. How could you not be glued to the tube when your chocolate cookie fantasy was right before your eyes?!
Cookie, cake, chocolate and marshmallow cream all in one handy package seemed too good to be true. Forget about Waldo…Where in the world were the West Coast Whoopie Pies being sold? I Googled and to my dismay I couldn’t find a local bakery that sold whoopie pies so I decided to settle for a packaged variety called a Moon Pie and quickly clicked through to buy them.
The day the UPS guy came was very exciting, and I ripped open my box to discover 50 individually packaged MOON PIES! 50…did I really order 50?! That was shocking. I ate one, and was satisfied, but not blown away. I guess that’s because they weren’t REAL whoopie pies. Real whoopie pies, are cakey, not crispy like the Moon Pies were, and let’s face it nothing packaged ever holds a candle to something homemade.
I was a bit disheartened and real whoopie pies were starting to seem like make believe akin to unicorns or leprechauns until I found the All-American Cookie Cookbook. It had a picture perfect whoopie pie jumping off page 119. Of course, I went immediately into baking mode, and yes that was the cookie I had been dreaming of. Dark, devilish, cakey and soft with a rich, moist crumb, and if that didn’t alone make it the Golden God of cookies…it also had a smooth, creamy marshmallow center. DIVINE.
So this is where my personal whoopie pie story gets cemented into my mom memory as one of those, “I have the greatest kids” moments. One, sad, sick day when I was feeling very sorry for myself and moping about in bed, out of the blue I smelled something chocolatey wafting up to my room. Was I dreaming? Had the cookie fairy really come after all these years of believing? Actually, my then 13-year-old son was baking whoopie pies to cheer me up. Teenage boys are normally seen glued to video games or ipods, but my son was making me, “Hope you feel better soon,” whoopie pies. Maybe some of my momness had worn off on the kid. Wouldn’t you know it, but after the whoopies, I was really starting to feel much better.
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
from The All American Cookie Book
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/4 c. vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 large egg
2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose white flour
2/3 c. unsweetened American-style cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. sour cream
1/3 c. white vegetable shortening
1/3 c. unsalted slightly softened butter (5 1/3 tablespoons)
1 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
1 7 ounce jar of marshmallow creme.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover several baking sheets with silpats (rubber baking mats) or parchment paper.
Cookie: In a stand mixer or medium bowl, cream together butter, shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla, creaming together. In a separate mixing bowl, put in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together or sift for a smoother batter. Pour 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, turning the mixer on low to cream. Add 1/2 of the sour cream and then cream together again and repeat until the dry ingredients and sour cream are incorporated. Using a small ice cream scoop, place small scoops of the batter onto the prepared cookie sheet. Drop them three across and four down so that they have room to expand in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes on the middle rack. Let cool completely before frosting or the filling will melt and liquify on the cookie.
Filling: In the bowl of a mixer, using the balloon (wire whisk type) attachment on medium to high, beat together butter, shortening, powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and marshmallow cream. Spoon the filling into a large gallon sized Ziploc bag. Make sure all of the filling is pushed into one corner of the bottom of the bag, SEAL the BAG, and snip off a small (quarter inch) piece of that corner. Using the Ziploc like a pastry bag, generously frost the flat side of half of the cookies. Place the other half of the cookies on top like a sandwich. Refrigerate and store in an air tight container until you are ready to serve them. They taste the freshest the same day and are fine next day, but after that they get dried out. Enjoy and have fun making whoopies!