Ode to the Whoopie Pie

Mandy and I have been discussing some of the homespun foods of our respective childhood regions--hers in Rochester, NY and mine in Halifax, PA--and our desire to revisit some of these particular delicacies. One of my most-loved is my favorite Pennsyltucky baked good: The Whoopie Pie. These killer desserts (two chocolate cake cookies sandwiched together with a fluffy icing/filling) are originally a Pennsylvania Dutch phenomenon, and are now sold throughout many of the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. But for me, these treats from my childhood are soooo Pennsyltucky--I remember that whenever we went to the Friday auction in Gratz, PA (it's still there), I'd beg my parents to buy a Whoopie Pie from one of the Amish stands selling Shoo-fly Pie and the like (my mom is super health-conscious, so it was a rare treat when she agreed). They were also a regular fixture at church pot-lucks, where my dessert plate runneth over with Rice Krispy Treats, homemade ice cream, sugar cookies with sprinkles,...and of course a big, beautiful Whoopie Pie. (I'll post some other time about Pennsyltucky pot-luck main courses and creamed greens...).

I always pick up some whoopie pies when I return home for a visit, but the craving has, on occasion, been too much.... So, I've made them myself, using the Bicentennial Cookbook by the Farm Women Group #8 of Halifax, Pennsylvania (published in 1976):

Whoopie Pie Cookies
by Virginia Campbell

4 c. flour
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. Crisco
2 eggs
2 tbsp. vanilla
10 tbsp. cocoa
2 & 1/2 tsp. soda
2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt

Sift dry ingredients together and add liquid and beat well. Drop on cookie sheet. Bake 375 degrees -- 10 min.

2 c. Crisco
2 c. confectioners sugar
1 & 1/2 pint marshmallow creme
2 tbsp. vanilla

Beat all ingredients together and spread between baked cookies.

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