I hear it’s long been a debate between Pennsylvania and Maine bakers as to who first created the whoopie pie. My great-aunt even joined the fun and always told the story of one of her ancestors naming the treat at their family store; in my hometown they’re usually considered an Amish thing, but that doesn’t stop the rest of us from making – and loving – them.
They’re my absolute favorite baked treat, and I have many fond memories of them. My mom used to bake large quantities of them, wrap them individually in waxed paper, and hide them around the house and in the freezer. While she was at work, my dad and I would seek them out and enjoy them. I even remember some emerging from the freezer and then dancing impatiently beside the woodstove, watching them as they sat on the brick barrier beside the stove, waiting for them to thaw just enough for us to nibble and gnaw on them.
My great-aunt seemed to bring them to every family get-together and often served them to visitors, too, and Aunt Mary was an excellent baker. My great-grandmother, though she made them more rarely (at least by the time I came along) could bake absolutely anything, and when she offered you a whoopie pie, you happily sat down and enjoyed it with a glass of fresh milk – and maybe angled for an extra one.
I love having some of their recipes, and since we recently lost Aunt Mary and my kids never got to meet Grandma, it feels a bit like introducing them to my Big Helper and Little Man when we make their recipes together.
Yesterday we tackled Grandma’s amazing whoopie pies. It was hard not to be impatient as they danced around in excitement and flour flew, but in record time we had a finished batch of whoopie pies, ready for
Making whoopie pies is a bit more work than traditional cookies, as you have to making icing, too, (and I hate making icing) but they’re worth it. Since the kids (and a visiting aunt) made the process happen speedily yesterday, I definitely see whoopie pies appearing – and probably disappearing – in my kitchen more often from now on.
Want to make Grandma’s Whoopie Pies? Try her recipe here:
1 c. Crisco
2 c. sugar
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 c. cocoa powder
1 c. sour milk
1 c. hot water
2/3 c. Crisco
5 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
3 c. powdered sugar
Cream the Crisco and sugar until fluffy.
Mix the rest of the dry ingredients together.
Mix the dry ingredients alternately with the sour milk and the hot water.
Bake the cookies at 350 for about 8 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.
When the cookies are completely cool, ice the flat side and place a cookie of the same size and shape on top, flat sides together.
Store in an airtight container or wrap well in waxed paper.
Combine all ingredients and mix until fluffy.