Making Whoopie (Pies)

March 31, 2009

There are many amazing aspects of having children, things that people try to convey but really can’t adequately describe. One of those, for me, is when one of my children does something that is so quintessentially me that it takes my breath away. Most recently I was reading the New York Times Wednesday Dining Out section (one of the great pleasures in my life) and I became intrigued by the recipe for whoopie pies. Whoopie pies are really not something that I would choose to make (or eat). I don’t really like “cakey” brownies or cookies, so there is nothing that would really draw me to this New England specialty. However, there really was something about the description and the photos that made me interested. I showed the recipe to my oldest daughter, Cameron, and within minutes she had a dozen or more of my cookbooks on the ground and she was cataloging all of the recipes for whoopie pies in my collection and making a schedule for us to create all of them. This is such a me thing to do…I almost believed I was watching myself.  Our first attempt (last weekend) came from Tish Boyle’s, The Good Cookie.  While we all tried to act like we liked them (after all we’re talking Tish Boyle and to not like the recipe is almost heresy), in reality they were dry, hard and did not make any of us yell out, “whoopie.”  We baked them while I was having a string of baking failures, which added to my disappointment. However, Cameron was not to be deterred. We tried again this weekend and made the recipe from Anita Chu’s, Field Guide to Cookies. They were really perfect. They tasted like soft, squishy, chocolatey, Suzy-Q’s…small portable cakes that were a joy to eat. We were all thrilled. The taste test came right after I had pulled the coconut butter thins out of the oven for this week’s TWD recipe. All the kids at my house were certain they would not like the coconut cookies. They were pleasantly surprised. I added an extra 1/4 cup flour and lemon zest rather than lime (it is difficult to find organic limes for some reason). My very favorite recipe for shortbread cookies comes from Emily Luchetti’s, StarsDesserts. The addition of 1/4 cup flour results in Greenspans’ recipe being quite similar to hers. I didn’t really want the lacey quality that the other bloggers had noted when they followed the recipe exactly. The addition of coriander, lemon zest, coconut and salted macadamias give this cookie a buttery taste with excellent depth and crunch. Anyway, stay tuned. Cameron and I will be back baking whoopie pies again next week, and who knows what other recipes she will uncover as she does her research.

Cameron and Kate Eating Whoopie Pies

Cameron and Kate Eating Whoopie Pies

Happily Eating Dorie's Butter Thins

Happily Eating Dorie's Butter Thins

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4 Responses to “Making Whoopie (Pies)”

  1. jenjw4 Says:

    What adorable girls!
    I made whoopie pies recently and mine spread a ton and were huge, one was about four servings.

    I liked the Dorie recipe and also subbed in lemon zest for the lime.

  2. pamela Says:

    Whoopie pies are fun, aren’t they? The fact that you made one similar to a Suzy-Q makes me want to come to your house…yesterday! Love those things! I really enjoyed the TWD cookie, and I’m so glad I tried. Can’t wait for more whoopie pies! :o)


  3. I liked this unusual combination of flavors in a cookie, too.
    (We also have a Westie!)

  4. jane S Says:

    You have made me consider baking something that in general i have not even thought of. I like the idea of a suzy Q and may just make them. keep on blogging. I love reading it


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