If you have never had a whoopie pie, you are really missing out. They remain my all-time favorite cookie. According to food historians, Pennsylvania Amish wives would put these in their husbands lunch buckets. They would be happy to see these delicious snacks when they opened their buckets and would let out a big, “Whoopie!”
A whoopie pie is like a sandwich. It really isn’t a pie of any sort. It is made with two soft chocolate cookies and a tasty white filling. They are to die for. Or to fight over. This was one food war my sister was not going to win. It was bad enough that she scooped all of the noodles out of the soup, only to leave me with 3 noodles and broth. No, she would not get the whoopie pies. The war was on.
Whoopie pies were not good right out of the oven. They had to cool. My mom didn’t cool her cookies on racks. She cooled them on opened brown paper bags.Brown paper bags are great for absorbing grease. That’s what I use when I bake a lot of cookies. Anywho, we couldn’t eat the whoopie pies until my mom put the icing in the middle. They weren’t good without the filling. That made the cookie special.
I always won part 1 of the whoopie pie war. My mom would yell out, “Beaters or the bowl?” I would be standing right there. I always got the beaters. My mom scraped the hell out of the bowl, so there wasn’t much left there. She didn’t do a very good job with the beaters, which meant a lot for Vickie. I would put them on a plate, take them out to the family room, and smile at my sister, who had the bowl. I know there is stuff written about salmonella and raw eggs and that you shouldn’t lick the beaters, but this is one time I’m not obsessed. I never got sick when I was little.
At one time I was a bit apprehensive of the beaters. Our neighbor, Sylvia, ran into our house one day,
screaming,with blood all over her hand. She got her hand caught in the mixing bowl while the beaters were doing their business. We rushed her to the hospital and I stayed away from the beaters while my mom was mixing. If that could happen to Sylvia, what’s to say that a beater wouldn’t come flying off of the mixer and cut my head off. Well, ok, I exaggerate, but maybe my mom didn’t put the beaters in place correctly. Sylvia seemed like a very intelligent woman, and she cut the hell out of her hand. My mom thought she was intelligent. And that made the prospect of a flying decapitation instrument very real.
“Vickie, why are you watching from the other side of the kitchen?”…………….No, the beaters are in there safely…….I know, because I put them in there…………..No, it wouldn’t cut your head off…………………….No, you would never lose an eye………….Yes, but Sylvia stuck her hand in the bowl…………..Vickie, I know her finger was just hanging there. I saw it too………………Vickie, I am not going to cut my finger off……………….I don’t think anyone would bake a finger into a cookie……..No, Vickie, that’s not why they are called finger sandwiches……….Vickie, that’s enough. Go to your room….”
The beaters and the bowl were just teasers. The real whoopie pies were the best thing about my mom. I’m really serious. If someone asked, “What is the best thing about your mom,” I would really answer, “Her whoopie pies.” Well, her homemade bread, which was part of the food war, were right up there with the whoopie pies.
Part II of the whoopie pie war usually included my best friend, Ramaine. I would call her and just say, “Whoopie pies”, and she would be knocking on the door before I even hung up. My mom couldn’t make them fast enough. As soon as she would get one made, we would grab it. We tried to get as many as we could on our plate. We knew we could eat a lot. Cheryl would just stand there and eat them one after the other. So, this basically became a tally war. Who could eat the most whoopie pies in one sitting won…. But, there was a problem.
We always got sick. We made ourselves sick. I remember Ramaine walking home with her hands on her stomach several times. One time we couldn’t even say the word, “whoopie pie” without cringing. We were little pigs. My mom never told us “enough is enough”. I think she enjoyed making us sick. It was a compliment to her cooking if we gourged ourselves to the couch.
I am not sure how many times a month my mom made whoopie pies. I’m thinking it was only once a month. They wouldn’t be special if they were readily available to us.
So, if you ever have the chance to eat a whoopie pie, there is one important question you have to ask the baker. “Do you use shortening?” If they don’t, scoff at them, and leave the area. Those are not true whoopie pies. A true whoopie pie is made of shortening, laden with trans fat.