When I was a kid in Pennsylvania these were my favorite treat. My mom used to make big batches, wrap them individually in waxed paper, and hide them in tins all over the house. When she was at work, Dad and I would hunt for them. I distinctly remember finding a tin of whoopie pies waaayyyy in the back of their closet – and another deep in the freezer. Those we ate even before they thawed – just let them hang out beside the wood stove for a bit and then ate them frozen. Yum!
While Mom didn’t make them nearly as often as I would’ve liked – I wouldn’t have, either, at the rate we went through them – whoopie pies can be found at every Amish stand, market, or store at home in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania (home of Belleville, the purest white top community in the world). Some markets even have them in different flavors, but the basic chocolate remains my favorite.
Since my Big Helper’s book club is meeting this week to discuss Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Life with Lily, we decided to study Amish culture this month. Today we made my great-grandmother’s Chocolate Whoopie Pies.
These whoopie pies are chocolatey and moist. They don’t rise up super high, but they definitely grow in the oven, and that’s good – a tiny one just wouldn’t cut it.
I couldn’t get a picture of the actual mixing process – they were so excited that it flew by. They were even happier to get their fingers into the icing, though!
- 2 c. sugar
- 1 c. shortening
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 c. flour
- 1 c. cocoa or a little less
- 1/2 t. salt
- 2 t. baking soda
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1 c. sour milk
- 3/4 c. hot water
- 3 c. powdered sugar
- 2/3 c. shortening
- 2 t. vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 5 T. milk
- Cream sugar and shortening.
- Add egg yolks and beat well.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend slowly. (If you don't have any sour milk, you can put 1 T. of milk into a liquid measuring cup and then fill to the one-cup line with milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes, stir, and add.)
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Drop batter onto the parchment by the tablespoon. Leave 2 inches between each dollop - this batter will spread!
- Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Remove from tray onto a tea towel or cooling rack.
- When pies are completely cool, match them up with others their same size and shape.
- Fill each pair with icing. (To make the icing, cream all ingredients.) One batch of icing should be enough for one batch of whoopie pies.
- Store in an air-tight container.
- Try to keep some in that container. Go ahead- I dare you!