Whoopie Pies* are kind of like a holy grail in my family. We talk about them with reverence and respect. We used to reminisce about vacations in Pennsylvania where they were a staple at the local grocery store. My mom tells me that my grandma made them for every school function she had growing up. I firmly believe that other than home made apple pie, whoopie pies are the food equivalent of telling someone you love them. With chocolate. And marshmallows.
It used to be that we’d take them to a potluck and no one would know what they were. “Whoopie Pie? What’s that?” Nowadays I guess they’re kind of in. And by in, I mean: they’ve been corrupted by Starbucks and Food Network. Don’t get me wrong, I love creativity and changing things up but whoopie pies were already perfect and you just don’t go messing with perfection.
If you’re one of those people who makes cute little mini whoopie pies with red velvet cake or someone who makes them “skinny”… you might want to proceed with caution. This recipe is the original, handed down from generation to generation of Pennsylvania Dutch women. It has butter. It has shortening. It has plain old Hersey’s Cocoa. It has real marshmallow fluff and bleached flour. It has bleached confectioners sugar and regular old C&H sugar. It’s indulgent. It’s gooey. It’s got ten thousand calories, I’m sure. But most importantly, it’s got love. And it is with love I pass this recipe on to you.
I made these on a slow sleepy Monday with my brother as the beater cleaner. They were an attempt to stave off the boredom and the cold. It worked pretty well.
If you’ve never made these before you are in for a treat. They’re really easy and really good. Let me know how it goes!
Makes about 23 sandwiches
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup white shortening**
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla
3 to 4 tsp milk***
Mix all ingredients in order beating until smooth. Drop by teaspoon on buttered cookie sheet. (You can also use parchment paper.) Bake at 375 F until slightly springy on top, about ten to twelve minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.
While baking cream together shortening and confectioners sugar. Beat in other ingredients until smooth and fluffy.
When cookies have cooled, spread about a tsp or two on them and place another on top. Makes about 23 saucers.
*They used to be called Flying Saucers. Now we just call them Whoopie Pies like everyone else.
*** I used a couple tablespoons. My mom told me it’s like water in a pie crust… Use the least amount and go slowly. I’d start with a tsp, and go up from there beating vigorously in between.