AMISH WHOOPIE PIES
From cherished comfort food in Maine, to the first whoopie pie factory in Lewiston, Massachusetts, and all the way south to their origins in Amish country near Lancaster, Pennsylvania where leftover cake batter was used to make them, whoopie pies have a tradition of being big enough to share with a friend. A unique cake like consistency, marshmallowy white filling, and an enormous hamburger-like size sets them apart from other American desserts. A tradition that makes it easy to get small hands working in the kitchen, these "pies" have been upgraded. Buttermilk makes the cakes tender. Real butter rather than vegetable shortening appeals to depth of flavor seekers. Beware: keep eyes on both the cake and the filling batters--anyone passing through the kitchen will want a spatula full to savor before the whoopies have made it to the oven.
Nota bene: Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder with its Pennsylvania roots is perfect in this nostalgic dessert.
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup marshmallow creme
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
TO MAKE PIES
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line 2 half sheet baking trays with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the sugar and the butter.
3. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
5. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture to the butter mixture and blend on low speed until well blended. Add 1/3 of the buttermilk. Repeat a total of 3 times.
6. With a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop, drop 12, 1/4 cup circles of batter onto each baking sheet. Be certain to space evenly and leave plenty of room between each pie.
7. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the tops are puffy and the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely before adding the filling.
TO MAKE FILLING
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and the confectioner's sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add the vanilla, marshmallow cream, sea salt, and milk until blended.
3. Divide the filling among the 12 of the pies and top with the remaining 12 pies.