Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Whoopie Pie Caper

Try as one might, it's not possible to make a whoopie pie fancy. Present them, if you must, on tiered plates; photograph them at centre stage; enhance the elegant black-white contrast. But a whoopie pie is still a whoopie pie and cannot be eaten daintily placed between thumb and forefinger

Whoopie pies have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Everyone loves my mom's recipe, and, by now, three generations have loved them, too. There were (and are) always some tucked away in the freezer.

I had no idea how much variation exists in recipes for these treats. Cooks.com offers 234 different versions - pumpkin, peanut butter, buttercream, flavoured fillings galore - and for amounts ranging from eight little pies to five dozen of them.

Mom's recipe makes two dozen. Far too many to eat at one sitting, and yet...


photo credit
 When I was about eleven, my friend Judy and I decided to bake whoopie pies one afternoon when mom was at work. (Who says that kids don't have enough to keep them busy!?) We had all the ingredients and set to work sifting and creaming. At some point in the process, we wondered what would happen if we baked REALLY BIG whoopie pies - say, four only from the entire recipe.
An idea like that cannot remain untested when one is eleven; just thinking such a thing means trying it. And that is exactly what we did. For those wanting to test this for themselves, I can tell you that it's entirely possible - the whoopie pies hold together and are very impressive.

All successful experiments must be rewarded, and ours was no exception. The only, and obvious, reward was to eat those whoopie pies - two each, with milk.  Not only could we not eat them daintily, held between thumb and forefinger, we also could not eat them with one hand alone.

Although the reward was tasty, the effects were not so great. We were both a little sick. We felt even less well when my mother came home! Whether these events have any bearing on the matter or not, I don't know, but I really never liked to bake after that.

But fortunately, our whoopie pie caper did not diminish my love of eating them. They are still one of my favourite cookies. I am just a bit more temperate when I indulge. 




17 comments:

Hels said...

Look what you learn about the cultures of other nations when you read peoples' blogs :)

Ciss B said...

Whoopie pies are something that isn't an addiction for me, though I like them. Now offer me one of my mom's brownies and I will go crazy! Oh, and I have never replicated the brownie recipe no matter how hard I try.

But I'm getting closer!! :-)

ChrisJ said...

Hels,

Maybe you could franchise what could be the next big trend in Australia and make millions!

ChrisJ said...

Christi,

I could replicate a savoury sauce on something or re-create a soup, but never could I even hope to replicate baking without a recipe - I can't bake very well with a recipe.

lifeshighway said...

OMG, a treat I have never had and now a treat I must deny myself.

They look really good. Are they like devils food cake?

ChrisJ said...

Cheri,

A little like devil's food cake - the cookie is quite "cakey." Really good, but you're right - a calorie nightmare.

Owen Gray said...

My late mother-in-law baked Nanaimo bars. They were way to rich for anybody who was counting calories.

But, when she brought them out of the oven, everyone stopped counting calories.

Pearl said...

you know, I've never heard of whoopie pies nor seen them before.

the closest parallel to misguided cooking as a kid was mixing up some favorite drinks -- coke float with orange juice. after that curdled mess, I still can't drink orange juice.

ChrisJ said...

Owen,

I think Nanaimo bars are even richer than whoopie pies.

ChrisJ said...

Pearl,

Interesting what we think will taste good when we are kids.

Judie said...

O.k., I'll "bite"--What is a nanaimo bar??

ChrisJ said...

Judie,

A Nanaimo Bar is a buttery, chocolately, rich square. mmmmm

this website has a little history, an awesome pic, and a recipe:

http://www.joyofbaking.com/NanaimoBars.html

askcherlock said...

Oh, these are so good. Here we call them gobs, and yes, they are messy but ever so worth it!

ChrisJ said...

Cher,

It's interesting who has heard of them and not and what they are called in different places.

Judie said...

I think these just might be "moon pies" but I am not absolutely sure.

ChrisJ said...

Judie,

I think so; that was a name I saw on the recipe website for them, too.

Pearl said...

I saw them in person. they nearly hopped off the shelf to see me in NYC.