Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

My husband subscribes to the Wall Street Journal. Occasionally he finds an article that he thinks might interest me and circles it for me to read. It could be there is a lack of big financial news, but on the front page of the WSJ the other day was this article about a big fight brewing over the Whoopie Pie. I'm not joking. Apparently there are people arguing over who was the first to invent it, and whose state should make it their "official state dessert". I really don't care and I can't imagine there are many Wall Street Journal readers that do either.

But the article did cause me to have Whoopie Pies on the brain. It was Valentine's Day and I thought I'd make some for the kids - and to see what all the hubbub was about.

They're delicious, quite similar to a cupcake, only perhaps a little easier to eat. They are harder than a cupcake to decorate seeing as you only have the icing peeking out between the cakes to attach any sprinkles too. I don't know if they need to be our state dessert, but the kids sure loved them!

Chocolate Whoopie Pies
from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
{using a medium cookie scoop, this recipe made 28 pies}

For the cakes:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 cup very strong brewed coffee
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot brewed coffee until completely combined and dissolved.

In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar and oil. Add this to the cocoa mixture and whisk until combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk. Whisk until smooth.

Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you fold.

Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon sized cookie scoop to drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the filling.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream Filling:
(This recipe makes more than you'll need for the whoopie pies.}

5 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, cool but not cold
a pinch of table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar together. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water but do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and the color is a milky white, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. You can test the mixture by rubbing a small amount between your fingers. It should feel completely smooth.

Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed. Beat until smooth and fluffy and completely cooled, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment. Add the cubed butter and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes more. The buttercream will look as though it is breaking, but it will come together as you continue to beat.

Add the salt and vanilla and beat until combined.

To assemble the pies, turn half of the cookies upside down. Use a spoon or a piping bag fitted with a large round tip to apply a dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookie. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling and lightly press the cookies together. Repeat until all cookies are filled. Spoon some sprinkles on the icing if desired.


  1. Mmmm, these look YUMMY! Our local newspaper printed a recipe for Red Velvet whoopie pies ~ they were delicious!!!!

  2. Amazing what the news stories can carry some days - maybe a slow news day? Your whoopies turned out great - would never have thought of adding the sprinkles to the middle, but it jazzes them up! Nice work.

  3. Having grown up on whoopie pies and being a PA Dutch girl in Lancaster's sort of a big deal for us I guess. Surprising it made front page news though on the WSJ...
    I will have to ask one of my Amish neighbors what they think of all this. I am sure they are having a laugh about it. They don't understand why people are so interested in them to begin with...I'm sure let alone this now.
    No matter who started it...they are yummy!



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