Whoopie pies have been on my list of things to bake for a while now, and after my plans for this Friday fell through I decided to pull out my KitchenAid, crank up some music and make my own fun. According to the recipe I found, an Amish woman is credited for inventing the whoopie pie when she thought to sandwich two pieces of cake together with frosting. They were given their name because children would supposedly shout "whoopie!" when they found their mom had tucked the dessert in with their lunch. Hence the terribly dorky title to my blog post, find it in your heart to forgive me.
Seeing a book called Whoopie Pies (by Sarah Billingsley, Amy Treadwell, and Antonis Achilleos) while walked through a Sur la Table introduced me to whoopie pies, two cake-like "cookies" with a sweet buttercream filling. The book includes a recipe for classic chocolate whoopie pies with marshmallow filling as well as creative flavor combinations, such as red velvet, green tea, pumpkin with cream cheese filling, and oatmeal with maple-bacon filling :) Having somehow restrained myself from purchasing yet another baking-related book, I found a recipe for vanilla whoopies with Nutella filling on the internet. So after a quick run to Meijer and with recipe in hand, I set out to make a batch of Nutella filled whoopie pies.
The first step in making whoopie pies is whipping up batter for the cookie part. Most cookie batters are thick enough to hold a ball shape, but whoopie batter was alarmingly thin. Whoopie pie batter is really more of a cake batter than a typical cookie, and comes out with the same fluffy texture. Dropping the batter onto parchment paper (a must!) felt more like making pancakes... which made me nervous.
But they came out of the oven fluffy and delicious! Turns out my only error was my tendency to make everything bigger than it should be. The thin consistency of whoopie batter means it will inevitably spread, so palm-sized whoopie pies only require 2 or 3 tablespoons of batter. Had I not made cookies with a 5" diameter, I'm thinking they would have also come out a little thicker which would have been nice.
There is no whoopie pie without a filling and the Nutella buttercream recommended by this particular recipe was killer. I tweaked this recipe a little because I like my buttercream good and fluffy, but the flavor paired with the vanilla cookie wonderfully.
I ended up with about a dozen delicious whoopie pies, but would've had about twice as many had I made them a reasonable size. No doubt whoopie pies are sugary and delicious, but I don't think I'll be adding them to my list of "go-to" recipes. The cookies were easy to make and easier to eat, but I like a cookie with a little more chew to it. For the texture of a whoopie pie I'd rather have a slice of cake, but for the convenience of a cookie I'd rather have an actual cookie. That being said though, put Nutella buttercream on just about anything and I'll find a way to eat it ;)