Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Brief Detour: Whoopie Pies

One of the things I meant to do on vacation, but did not, was make whoopie pies. The recipe in my family is the pretty standard Mainer recipe, which I find more akin to devil dogs than what is now available on the commercial market for whoopie pies - which tend to be ginormous and not a little sticky. (The best ones, IMHO, are the Isamax ones made in Gardiner, Maine).

But in joint celebration of a) completing a week at my new job and b) my niece's 8th birthday party, I came home Friday night and whipped up a batch while watching Eureka and Haven (the latter of which is set in a fictitious Maine town but filmed in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, a place I have never been but for some reason occasionally dream about). I'm not entirely sure how many of these my dad ate at the party, but the bag was empty when I left last night.

The Recipe:

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees

The Cookie part:
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco...but I use regular butter and it works just fine)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/s tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and the milk; stir until mixed. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 minutes. (I like to make these small and use about 2 tablespoons of batter per cookie, but you can make these as large or small as you would like. If you make them smaller, watch the oven carefully because these will burn quickly.) Cool completely.

The Filling:

3/4 cup shortening
3/4 confectioners sugar
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Combine in a bowl and mix with an electric handmixer. (*Note: because the idea of eating uncooked shortening has recently started giving me the heebie-jeebies, I have been experimenting with using butter instead of shortening, decreasing to about 1/2 a cup, and increasing the marshmallow fluff to a whole cup. I think it tastes better, but it does mean that you need to refrigerate the whoopie pies, lest the filling turn rancid on you. But I grew up eating these made with shortening and definitely lived to tell about it.)

Take a cookie, spread filling on the bottom, then find a reasonably-same sized matching cookie to top it off. I like to wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then store them in a plastic container...but you can skip the plastic wrap if you like.

Depending on the size of the cookie you make, this will make 1-2 dozen. I have no idea if these freeze well, because they never last long enough to find out, but I would assume they would be ok for a little while in there if properly wrapped up.

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