Dorcas Annette Walker
During the school year bake sales were popular years ago when I attended school. Every family would donate homemade baked items to sell to raise money for some school project. Baked sales were always exciting as us school kids had the privilege of selling the baked goods at a designated spot with a few motherly souls keeping an eye on things. Not only did the experience teach us how to count money and give change, but we learned the art of public relations, salesmanship, working as a team, patience, and the rewards of hard work. It also was an opportunity for gaining experience at home in the kitchen. Today car washes and selling Girl Scout cookies seem to have replaced the old fashioned bake sales. I feel sorry for school kids today that don’t get the chance to participate in a bake sale. One item that always was popular and a big seller at bake sales was Whoopie Pies.
Whoopie Pies are a baked item made of two, round, cake-like cookies with a sweet creamy frosting sandwiched between them. Whoopie Pies are considered a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition with its origins in the Amish Lancaster County. These cake-like goodies were considered a special treat made from leftover batter. According to Amish legend, when children or farmers would find a Whoopie Pie in their lunch they would shout “whoopee”. Whoopie Pies spread up to New England and today they are one of Maine’s best known and loved comfort foods. In Maine Whoopie Pies are about the size of a large hamburger and eaten with a glass of milk. The original and most common flavor is chocolate, but today Whoopie Pies can be made in almost any flavor of your choice. I found recipes of other flavors besides chocolate: mint, gingerbread, pumpkin, red velvet, banana, orange, lemon, chocolate chip, maple, oatmeal, peanut butter, raspberry, strawberry, and chocolate/peanut butter.
My Whoopie Pies recipe has the original chocolate flavor with a modern twist. Instead of using the old homemade recipe of several ingredients, I substitute a cake mix thus saving time. Also by using a cake mix different flavors of Whoopie Pies are instantly available and easier to make for a beginner. These Whoopie Pies have a soft chocolate texture with a creamy filling that is finger lick’n good. Preparation time for my Whoopie Pies is about thirty-five minutes (not counting baking time) and this recipe makes eighteen Whoopie Pies.
1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix (or any other flavor)
1 c cold water
¼ c cooking oil
Slowly mix all ingredients until combined then beat on high for two minutes. Place heaping tablespoons of batter on a greased tray. Bake at 350º for fifteen minutes. Transfer baked cookies on a clean towel and let cool.
½ c self-rising flour
1 c milk
1 c sugar
1 stick of margarine
½ c shortening
In a small saucepan cook flour and milk stirring with a Wisk until thick and smooth. Let cool. In a mixing bowl combine sugar, margarine, shortening, and cooled flour paste. Beat on high for three minutes until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Spread a heaping tablespoon of frosting between two chocolate cookies. Wrap up each Whoopie Pie in saran wrap!
Weekly tip: To transfer a heaping spoonful of batter without the batter dripping everywhere: dip the spoon into the batter until it is submerged, lift up, twist the spoon completely in a circle by rolling the handle quickly around in your fingers, and then transfer the batter to its designated spot!