Mainers' love their sweets! The state legislature has designated two sugary confections with official state titles - official dessert of Maine - Wild Maine Blueberry Pie and official treat of Maine - the Whoopie Pie.
Whoopie Pie's can be found everywhere in Maine - from bakeries, to gas stations, to baked bean suppers (a unique Maine / New England tradition) and home kitchens so I decided to feature the Whoopie Pie on Sweet State of Mine.
Maine, Pennsylvania and Boston all claim to be the birthplace of the Whoopie Pie, but none have indisputable proof that their story is true.
The story told in Maine is that an employee of a commercial bakery in Bangor ended up with extra chocolate cake batter and decided to scoop it onto a baking tray in small mounds rather than waste it. Once the small cakes were baked, she sandwiched them together with extra vanilla frosting and exclaimed "Whoopie - it worked!"
The Filling Debate
The origins of the Whoopie Pie aren't the only subject of debate surrounding these little treats - there's the matter of what type of filling you use.
Vanilla Frosting vs. Marshmallow Fluff vs. Shortening & Sugar
From what I can tell, Vanilla Frosting is common in Pennsylvania, Fluff in Boston and the shortening & sugar variety is most common in Maine.
Let's make some Whoopies!
for the cake...
1/4 cup crisco
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
- cream together crisco and sugar
- add in the egg and vanilla
- mix together the dry ingredients and then add to crisco mixture alternately with milk
- drop by tablespoon full onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I used a size 70 scoop)
- bake exactly 8 minutes at 375 degrees. If toothpick comes out clean, it is done. If not, bake another 2 minutes
- remove from pan immediately to a wire rack to cool
for the filling...
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup crisco
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup warm, whole milk
- beat together butter, crisco and sugar with electric mixer
- add flour, vanilla and warm milk and continue beating until it comes together to make a smooth, fluffy filling
- when you first add the milk, flour and vanilla - you will think you have done something totally wrong because of the ugly, curdled looking mess that will be in your bowl. fear not - this is normal. keep mixing and like magic - it will transform into a beautiful filling! ; )
- Once the cakes have cooled, spread a generous amount of filling on half of the cakes then top with the remaining cakes
- Whoopie Pies are a casual treat and meant to be a little messy. Licking the ooozy filling while eating the pie is completely OK.
Now, to make this truly a Maine experience - wash down your Whoopie Pie with the Official Soft Drink of Maine...
Must be the northern version of a Moonpie and RC Cola!
These are a really fun treat and have become very popular over the last year or so throughout the US with flavors like red velvet, pumpkin and lemon joining the traditional chocolate variety. I think the people of Maine are on to something with this one!