Whoopie Pies (Chocolate Gobs)
Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies
Whoopie Pies, known as Chocolate Gobs in some areas of the country, are not pies at all, but two cake-like cookies with a creamy filling. Contrary to popular belief, not every Pennsylvania Dutch household grew up with whoopie pies. I believe they were made popular by the Amish community, a branch of PA Dutch, but I do not know if that is where they originated. I had always heard of whoopie pies, but the only ones I tried as a child were commercially produced and I did not like them at all. Since I used to get so many requests for the recipe, I decided I needed to make one that everyone would love and would suit my tastes. After comparing many recipes, this is what I developed, and they are absolutely delicious. The batter uses butter instead of the usual vegetable shortening. I also use buttermilk instead of the traditional sour milk, which is difficult to find. The filling is a cooked seven minute frosting, so there is no question about possible bacteria from raw eggs. I think it might be similar to the original filling. Other recipes I found use raw eggs, shortening, store-bought marshmallow fluff, or a flour-based filling so I think this is a better choice. It is light, creamy and the perfect complement to the cookies.
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, preferably unsalted, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (see notes below)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 large egg whites
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 5 tablespoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the cookies, preheat oven to 400° F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla; beat until well-combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing after each addition until combined. Drop batter onto sheets by heaping tablespoons, about 3 inches apart, as they will spread. (I use a small scoop that is about a one tablespoon capacity. It makes dropping the batter much easier and more uniform.) Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies spring back to the touch. Let cool slightly before removing to a cooling rack topped with parchment or waxed paper. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the eggs, sugar, salt, corn syrup, cream of tartar and cold water in a medium heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer just until combined. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water, being very careful to make certain that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Beat with the mixer on high speed for 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and add the vanilla. Beat again until combined. To speed up the cooling process, place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice and water. Continue to beat until the filling is thick and cool.
To assemble, spread cooled filling, about 1-1/2 tablespoons per cookie, on the bottom of half of the cookies. Top each with the remaining cookies. Sandwiches can be served immediately. If storing, wrap individually with plastic wrap or waxed paper, then place in storage bags. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze in freezer bags for up to 3 months.
Notes: I must admit that my decision to make many recipes, especially baked goods, quite often happens spontaneously. One thing I seldom have on hand is buttermilk. However, you can get the results by mixing 1 tablespoon lemon juice and enough milk to make 1 cup for each cup that you need. These cookies can be made in any size desired. For smaller cookies, use a heaping teaspoon and adjust the baking time to about 10 minutes. For larger cookies, use a larger scoop, and bake a little longer. Keep in mind that, for larger cookies, you will need more space between them on the baking sheet.