Baked Goods, Book Reviews

Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Filling

Imagine it. An entire book packed from cover to cover with glorious duos of decadent cake sandwiched together with frothy icing. Whether or not you’re a fan of sweet or savory your every dessert based whim can be fulfilled with the new Whoopie Pies cookbook.

Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell have clearly outdone themselves in compiling a comprehensive guide to everything whoopie. As I hail from Maine I’m perhaps a little too familiar with the traditional chocolate version of these puffy treats, but if you grew up anywhere outside of the Maine to Pennsylvania region (where they apparently refer to Whoopie Pies as “Gobs” to which I can only say, “Um…yuck!”) you might not have had the privilege of enjoying the classic version. Of course by “classic” I’m referring to the fact that the tried and true whoopie pie filling is made with a bizarre sticky substance called Fluff and oodles of Crisco Vegetable Shortening.

I realize this sounds revolting but it tastes like rainbows. For real. This is truly the only way to go if you’re looking for authenticity. Of course, Marshmallow Fluff is hard to find for a lot of people so I’ll begrudgingly allow you to utilize some of the lovely buttercream based recipes in the book. Although, since you can also buy Fluff online I really think you should give it a whirl at least once in your life.

Speaking of recipes, The Whoopie Pies cookbook has oodles for you to choose from including pumpkin, gingerbread, and red velvet — just to name a few. The cool thing about this book is that all of the cake recipes are housed in one section and the filling recipes are located in another. This way you can mix and match to your heart’s content and really get your creative culinary mojo going. I’m particularly fascinated by the thought of whipping up a batch of the Jalapeno Cornbread Whoopie Pies with a layer of Honey Buttercream filling. Whoopie pies as an appetizer! Who would have thought?!

As for the classic version that I recreated from the book I have to be honest. The results were spot on and this recipe is probably going to replace our usual family recipe provided by the late, great Maine cookbook author Marjorie Standish. Just do me a favor and please don’t tell my grandmother. I’m absolutely sure she wouldn’t approve.

Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Filling

Makes 12 four-inch whoopie pies or 24 two-inch whoopie pies
Adapted from the Whoopie Pies cookbook written by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell

1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Classic Marshmallow Filling

1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff (or other prepared marshmallow cream, which will do in a pinch)
1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of wax paper. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and brown sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.

Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and the remaining ½ cup milk and beat until completely combined.

Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets; repeat, spacing the rounds at least 2 inches apart. (Erin’s note: For larger four-inch cakes use a medium cookie scoop to drop the batter). Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the rounds spring back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Marshmallow Fluff and the vegetable shortening, staring on low and increasing to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.

Using a knife or spoon, spread the filling onto the flat side of a cooled cake. Top with another cake, flat side down. Repeat with the remaining cakes and serve.

Please Note: A free copy of this cookbook was provided to me by the publisher.