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Whoopie Pies

A few of us where in the mood for a sweet pig-out after dinner last nite and somehow, whoopie pies became the mission. With no bakery open at 8pm on Sunday in the burbs, a Hannafords would have to do. Well, once inside, I gravitated to their peanut butter and traditonal whoopie pies and picked up both. However, I noticed a sign and small bin stating "we now carry "Wicked Whoopies". I saw "WW" featured on a few food shows as being the ultimate whoopie pie. I bought three.... traditional, oatmeal and chocolate chip. Well I was darn glad I bought the Hannaford's own brand... Wicked Whoopies were wicked horrible. I still can't get the Crisco slime off my teeth. The cake portion was oily with no flavor, the filling was abominable with no hint of vanilla or custardy flavor. The oatmeal was two hard cookies with the same bland, lard whip. I'm shocked, given the great press Wicked Woopies has gotten. And I'm mortified, because I mailed ordered a few dozen to a relative who is a whoopie fanatic for a birthday. I guess I should never send a foodie gift without taste-testing. Wicked Bad yucky Woopies.

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  1. Odd. The only whoopie pies I've ever had in my life were homemade. I've never even noticed any store-made brands, let alone something that sounds like it might be made it its own factory, like Wicked Whoopies.

    I was also under the distinct impression that whoopie pies were mostly native to Maine, having never seen them or known any home cooks that made them in MA. Is this a fallacy? Can other local Hounds profess to having grown up with whoopie pies in MA or elsewhere outside of ME?

    14 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I grew up in MA and we always had whoopie pies growing up. On of my brothers used to make them all of the time when he was a kid. I never really had a taste for them- but my brother still loves them.
      I do rememebr, however, that the filling WAS made with crisco, and there was never a custardy flavor. I will have to buy some from a few different places and have my brother do a taste test.

      1. re: macca

        ah yes...whoopie pies were always homemade at bake sales, etc. and the filling is distinctly crisco, but some online recipe searching says Fluff is sometimes used too, which I'm not sure about (and that combo give me the creeps)...Surprisingly, I've noticed them in other places than Maine, but rarely do they look like the traditional whoopie pie, which has a middle filling bigger than either chocolate piece :) ... it's sorta like the New York-style black and white cookie, you see it in the Italian bakeries up here, but it's just not the same.

        1. re: MaineRed

          The Modern Pastry shop in Medford Square has both black and white cookies and whoopies pies. The black and white cookies are excellent but not NY style, meaning they have frosting rather than icing. I've never had the whoopie pies but given how good the other treats are (and how low the prices are) at the Modern, I'd give them a try.

      2. re: MC Slim JB

        I understand that whoopie pies were a Pennsylvania Dutch invention passed on to Mainers during the Civil War.

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          I was at a wedding in PA ( State College area)a few years ago. They had a "cookie" table, where lots of the guests baked their best cookie recipe. They had whoopie pies- and they were one bite size. They must have been a pain to make all of the small pies in the same shape- didn't taste them, but they sure were cute.

        2. re: MC Slim JB

          I also grew up in MA and my mother has been making whoopie pies for as long as I can remember - but only with Fluff and always with Hershey's powdered baking chocolate. I don't think I'd be able to eat them any other way.

          After looking around, it seems it was an Amish Pennsylvania Dutch dessert that made it's way into a Durkee/Fluff cookbook in the 1930's. Others claim it was invented by Amish sects in Maine first. The Fluff or Crisco controversy seems to lie in the fact that commercially made pies use Crisco because it keeps better.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I grew up in MA and my mother used to make them. I'm not sure what the filling was. It was white. In my memory I think of it as whipped cream, but maybe not. It definitely wasn't custardy. I have her old recipe box, now I'm curious to go and look and see if the recipe is there.

            1. re: pemma

              I did find my mother's recipe. The filling consisted of egg whites, confectionary sugar, vanilla, and "soft shortening", which would be Crisco. But under that she also wrote "oleo" which is an old-fashioned term for margerine. Maybe you could use one or the other?

              1. re: pemma

                I'm no pastry chef, but I'll guess that oleo vs. shortening would have rather different results: consider their relative stiffness at room temperature. In either case, the hyrodgenated oil scares me.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Yes, it seems strange. We didn't know or care about transfats way back when. But, if I do make Whoopie Pies with that recipe it's not going to be very often, so I wouldn't worry about it.

                2. re: pemma

                  That's roughly the same as my mother's recipe. However, memory tells me she always used Crisco.

              2. re: MC Slim JB

                I grew up in MA, and whoopie pies were definitely part of my childhood. And they had a fluffy, Crisco-y filling. Yumm!

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Whoopie pies are sold at all of the Pennsylvania Dutch roadside stands in and around Lancaster, PA.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    I grew up in MA and we also had whoopie pies all the time. The filling in our house: Fluff, butter and confectioner's sugar.

                  2. Wicked Whoopies are made by Isamax Snacks of Gardiner, ME. Until very recently they were sold only directly via mail-order (or in their retail location in Gardiner). They recently have also been available via Hannaford markets.

                    They made a splash a few years ago when Oprah fell in love with them and they've been riding that wave ever since.

                    There are still true homemade brands available in Maine. Some local bakeries make their own and you see a roadside stand occasionally.

                    1. That's too bad, I was always curious to try one. I found a good maple one in my hometown in VT. Yes, the filling isn't buttercream or anything, but if I ever go back (I think there's one last trip in the future), I'll make sure to buy one. Then again, maple anything is okay with me. There's a woman who bakes out of her kitchen in Lancaster and she makes great pumpkin ones. She's usually at the Harvard MA flea market/apple festival on the Sat. of Columbus Day weekend. I made pumpkin ones myself once, came out okay but the recipe does call for Crisco.

                      1. The Whoppie Pies at Sugar Bakery in west Roxbury are damn good. I am not that big of a fan of there other goods, but the whoppie pies are dead on.

                        1. Finale has a jazzed up version of a whoopie pie. it's not a soft cream frosting, more rich and cream cheesey but really really good. they make tiny ones that they serve with their sorbet