Current Moon Phase

Waxing Crescent
5% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Whoopie!

Whoopie!

If you’ve never had a whoopie pie, you’re missing out! Also known as gobs, bobs, black-and-whites, “big fat Oreos,” or black moons, whoopie pies are a sweet treat made form moist, cookie-shaped cakes sandwiched around a creamy filling.

The classic whoopie pie flavor combination features chocolate cake with a vanilla-flavored frosting, but many other flavor combinations abound, with variations to both the shell and filling. Popular varieties include chocolate peanut butter, double chocolate, chocolate chip, pumpkin, and gingerbread.

No one is entirely sure where whoopie pies originated. At least four states – Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania – lay claim to the snack. Some say Amish wives invented the whoopie pie from remnants of cake batter and frosting. According to the story, the name originated from the Amish men who, when they found these treats in their lunch boxes, would exclaim, “Whoopie!”

The first known commercially produced whoopie pies were sold by Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine – home of the Farmers’ Almanac – in 1925 (some say 1918).

Possibly the most widely-distributed whoopie pies also come from Maine. Wicked Whoopies, produced by Isamax Snacks, based in Gardiner, Maine, come in a variety of flavors and can be found throughout North America. These gooey gobs of goodness were featured on the Oprah Winfrey show a few years ago as one of Winfrey’s “favorite things.”

Maine is also notable for officially declaring the third Saturday in June official Whoopie Pie Day. The entire day is set aside to celebrate these sweet sensations, which also happen to be the official state treat.

While the mystery of where whoopie pies came from may never be solved, one thing is clear; you can easily make your own from scratch, in your choice of flavor combinations, no matter where you live.

Here are a few simple recipes to get you started. Just select the flavors you want for the shell and filling, match up two equal-sized outer shells, spoon some frosting onto one half and gently smash the two together to form a sandwich.

Shells
Classic Chocolate:
Ingredients:
1 stick butter
1 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly add milk and mix well. Sift dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Drop batter by the teaspoon on parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 10 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then place on wire racks to cool completely.

Pumpkin:
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add pumpkin and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture and beat until combined. Drop batter by the teaspoon on parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 10 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then place on wire racks to cool completely.

Gingerbread:
Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking, soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Using and electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg, beating to incorporate, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add one third of the dry ingredients, followed by the molasses, then another third, followed by the buttermilk, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Beat until incorporated. Drop batter by the teaspoon on parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 10 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then place on wire racks to cool completely.

White or Chocolate Chip:
Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. (For chocolate chip whoopie pies, add 1/2 cup chocolate chips to dry ingredients). In another large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly add milk and mix well. Sift dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Drop batter by the teaspoon on parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 10 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then place on wire racks to cool completely.

Fillings
Classic Filling:
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar at low speed until crumbly. Mix in extract and milk until combined, then switch to high speed and beat until light and fluffy.

Peanut Butter Filling:
Ingredients:
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
Using an electric mixer, cream together peanut butter and butter at high speed. On low speed, mix in sugar until combined, then beat mixture on high speed until light and fluffy.

Chocolate Filling:
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons hot coffee

Directions:
In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, cocoa, and powdered sugar at low speed until crumbly. Mix in extract, milk, and coffee until combined, then switch to high speed and beat until light and fluffy.

Cream Cheese Filling:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup cream cheese
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Using a mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract at medium speed. Switch to low speed and gradually mix in powdered sugar until combined, then switch to high speed and beat until light and fluffy.

Mint Filling:
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon mint extract
4 drops green food coloring

Directions:
In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar at low speed until crumbly. Mix in mint and milk until combined, then switch to high speed and beat until light and fluffy.

Salted Caramel Filling:
Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar at low speed until crumbly. Mix in caramel, salt, and vanilla until combined, then switch to high speed and beat until light and fluffy.

Lemon Filling:
Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Directions:
Using a mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined. Add vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon extract and beat until light and fluffy.

2 comments

1 Jayla SunBird { 06.29.12 at 11:27 am }

The Big Oreo:
Ooo-oooh! I don’t know what I’d do w/o my Farmers’ Almanac; page or booklet. I am having a great old time with memories, in here this morning!
Being the eldest of eight, I was sent to orchards and homes to work as a preteen, but I’ll tell You; on the way from those places, I’d often stop by what the teenagers called the Soda Shop to get two Big Oreo cakes. Aw! After hurriedly eating one, I’d half up the other and stuff a half in each cheek to make it slowly last. Because of tips from nice housewives, I experienced a bit of Heaven without touching the salary every time. That little black & white cake was my sweet secret for years!
JSB

1

2 Shirley Pickard { 06.21.12 at 8:28 am }

Instead of butter – use shortening. tastes just as good & a whole lot less expensive, than butter.

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.