Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stop 1. Maine Whoopie Pies

Ladies and Gentlemen, the road trip has begun.  Thanks to my parents, I have the perfect shirt to wear on this adventure (one that I have chopped up and re-sewn, but nonetheless), and there is a department meeting tomorrow, so what better way to kick off this road trip than feeding whoopie pies to a bunch of disgruntled librarians?

And so, we begin our trip in the far northeastern state of Maine where they are known for blueberries, snow and whoopie pies.

Now, in the book, Warren Brown acknowledges that it is true that the whoopie pie most likely originated in Pennsylvania Dutch country, so all you Pennsylvanians, don't get in a huff.  He states though, that regardless of this fact, at this point they are ubiquitously MAINE.

I followed the recipe to a T, and these babies came out perfectly.  They're all even almost the same size, thanks to my "trigger-release food scooper" (his words, not mine.  He also referred to a toothpick as a wooden skewer, but we'll let that go).  The cakes are fluffy and moist and the icing is incredible.  Like fresh, warm, homemade marshmallow fluff.  And now that I know how to make it, I fear for my waist line.

From this first stop on my road trip, I did learn a number of things.  1. Superfine sugar really is SUPERFINE, which means it's even more difficult to clean up when you dump it all over yourself.  2. Shower AFTER baking next time.  3. Cream of Tartar isn't really all that necessary (OK, I lied earlier when I said I followed the recipe to a T.  I didn't have cream of tartar, so I left it out and I left out the amaretto cause I think it's gross) if you're willing to put in the extra arm work.  4. Following the baker's notes really pays off.  In this case, Warren Brown pointed out that this frosting recipe, which involves whipping egg whites and sugar over a pot of simmering water, needs to be done with a handheld mixer and that if you don't have one, you should be prepared to whisk straight for five minutes.  My arm muscles not being what they used to be (?), I borrowed a handheld mixer from our home ec teacher at school.  What a difference it made!  They're great little gadgets, I might just have to get myself one.

Ingredients ready to go for the cakes.

cakes ready to go into the oven

batch one out of the oven

Ingredients for the frosting.  Note here how I used my double boiler.  Most of America seems to think it's as good to float a bowl precariously on top of a pot of simmering water, but I say, if you've got a handle, you might as well use it!

I didn't realize how well this picture would come out. 

Marshmallow-y goodness!

Cakes waiting to be frosted and sandwiched



And all packed up and ready for school!
So far, the road trip is off to a great start.  I'm glad you all are coming along and happy for those of you who get to taste these gems tomorrow.  

Next stop: New Hampshire Pumpkin Pancakes and Rhode Island Johnnycakes

*I am happy to say that the whoopie pies were a grand success.  They participated at a librarians meeting, social studies department meeting and afternoon snack at my parents'.  I think the greatest compliment I received was when my 2 1/2 year old niece turned to me (after going in for her second piece) and said, "I LIKE this!"  Grammy spent a good few minutes wiping marshmallow off her face that afternoon... (I wish I had a picture - I'll have to make them again!)


  1. Can I come to your meeting so I can have one? Please?

  2. Absolutely. I think we're talking about assessment. Sound good?

  3. Whoopie pies are better than assessment. Hands down. Full body down.