Not just my kids, but most young kids in general love to bake with their mamas. It’s like a rite of passage in some ways. Since they were very small (especially Maddie, but Luke too) my kids have loved to spend time with me in the kitchen. It’s where everything seems to really take place. Not just cooking and baking but homework, dancing, eating, drinking, even art projects and crafts. It’s the center of the home. Can’t say I love my current kitchen but ya know, I work with it and it is what it is and it’s where I spend 90 percent of my day. I’m in fact typing this right now at my kitchen counter.
Last year, as I was very busy as a working mom I believe we did virtually zero baking during the holidays. This year, I’m definitely making up for it. This past weekend I told the kids we were going to make whoopie pies! Just the term “whoopie pies” sounded fun!
And these babies came out dangerously good. I mean, currently, they are gone. I knew I should’ve made a couple batches just like the writer of the recipe, a Ms. Nadine Jones from Corinth, ME, said I should’ve. Next time, definitely making three batches of these – freezing them AND gifting to friends.
These whoopie pies are pretty intense tho. By intense, I don’t mean they are necessarily difficult to make. In fact, they’re pretty easy and fun! But, you need to swallow the fact that they REQUIRE you to use vegetable shortening (like Crisco*!!!! Like your grandma probably used). And also marshmallow cream (which I’ve never baked with before). They are not “healthy” but they also aren’t store bought whoopie pies (which taste chemically and preserved, no?). They’re a true blue indulgence of the highest order. So, if you’re in the mood for something like that then, I say go for it. I’ll include my slightly adapted version of the recipe below (I took out some of the sugar and used almond creamer instead of milk — but I suggest using actual milk, which I’ll be doing the next time I make these).
We can only thank the Gooseberry Girls though. I came upon these delightful cookbooks back in September when I was searching for cookbooks similar to Halfway-Homemade. They are the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks and there are MANY of them. I have three and they all sort of blend together. Although there are no actual repeat recipes in the books, the recipes are all quite simple (and simplistic) and mid-westerny – foods similar to what I grew up eating when I was a kid in Ohio. Required ingredients seem to include A LOT of “cream of —– soups,” meat, other canned items as well as Crisco, cheese, pasta, and frozen mixed vegetables. I can’t say I’ll reach for these cookbooks all of the time, but at this time of year, they offer the cozy, comfort recipes that we’re drawn to when the snows are a-blowin and the nights are cold and long.
Gram's Whoopie PiesPrint This
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. baking cocoa
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 c. shortening
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1 c. milk
- Marshmallow Filling:
- 3/4 c. shortening
- 3/4 c. powdered sugar
- 6 T marshmallow creme
- 1 t. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.
In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, blend together shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; stir well. Add flour mixture alternately with milk; beat well. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until set and toothpick tests done. Remove cookies from baking sheets; cool. Spread the flat side of the half cookies with Marshmallow Filling; sandwich with remaining cookies. Makes about a dozen.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; beat until smooth.
*if you're hesitant to use Crisco, then I suggest trying this organic shortening, which I've used before in other baking endeavors with success. I also think you could probably use butter in the actual cookies but probably not in the marshmallow filling.