Are you wondering what treats to carry for your next potluck? Your next family picnic? Try these delicious cookie cakes with frosting inside. Whoopie pies are an exquisite treat that you could also make from leftover cake batter and frosting.
Whoopie pies take a short time to bake and require no baking skills to assemble.
The Amish and Whoopie pies
The Amish are a conservative religious group of people who migrated to America in the 1800s from Europe.
The Amish made settlements primarily in the State of Pennsylvania. They brought with them their culinary heritage and handed over their simple but delicious recipes from one generation to another.
One of the delicious treats they adopted from Germany is the Amish traditional dessert, the whoopie pie. The recipe is simple, calling for ingredients that you will easily find in your pantry.
Whoopie Pie/Gob story
An Amish legend has it that after Amish mothers made cake, they would use the leftover cake batter to make whoopie pies.
They would then place the pies in the kids' school bags, and on reaching school the children would open their bags and shout excitedly "whoopie!”..thus the name whoopie pie. The Amish whoopies gained popularity in the early 1900s, bakeries began to bake them due to demand.
The first Amish whoopie pie was commercially baked and sold in Labadie's Bakery, in Lewistown, Maine. (Source : The Farmers Almanac)
These cake-like treats have a unique name in certain areas according to Susan Kalcik, a folklorist, and archivist with the South Western Pennsylvania Heritage preservation commission in Johnstown. She says in Amish Reader, that Whoopie pies are known as Gobs in the Johnstown area.
The name is popular in this area because the men would often carry gobs/whoopie pies in their lunch pails. Gobs were easier to transport and handle because the frosting is sandwiched between two cookie cakes. The name Gobs is related to coal mines, it refers to lumps of coal refuse in piles.
Whoopie Pie Festival
Whoopie pie festival? Yes, this is how famous the icing-filled treat is in Pennsylvania. There is an annual festival held involving a whoopie pie eating contest and the crowning of a whoopie pie queen!
I vividly recall the large crowds that flocked to last year's whoopie pie festival, there were over 400 flavors to sample! A sea of whoopie pies indeed.
Make a point of attending the whoopie pie festival and treat yourself to the most unique flavors of Whoopie pies. It is no wonder in 2011, the Maine State legislature considered making whoopie pies an official state dessert! (Source : amishreader.com )
Of all the Amish whoopie pie flavors designed by culinary artists, the Amish chocolate whoopie pie is the most popular. Chocolate flavor always blends beautifully with your choice of frosting, I love the contrast in color too. The Oatmeal and Pumpkin whoopie pies fall in the list of favorites as well.
How about making your homemade chocolate Amish whoopie pie? They are absolutely simple to make. They take a short time to bake, require no frosting and decorating skills, and are easy to handle.
Follow this recipe and enjoy a classic dessert from Lancaster PA, the Amish Chocolate Whoopie Pie.
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTION
Butter moisturizes the Amish chocolate whoopie pie batter, you could substitute this ingredient with shortening or vegetable oil.
Sugar sweetens the whoopie pie batter, balancing the almost bitter cocoa flavor. Granulated sugar is alright but you use less refined brown sugar for rich color and flavor.
Eggs enrich the Amish chocolate whoopie pies, they also contribute to the rise of the pies. Always use eggs at room temperature for the best results.
Buttermilk is rich in fat as compared to regular milk. Buttermilk gives a tangy flavor and very soft texture to the Amish Chocolate Whoopie pies. Sour cream can be used instead of buttermilk.
Buttermilk is easy to make at home. In a cup of whole-fat milk, add a teaspoon of lemon juice or apple cider, and let it sit for about five minutes. Stir gently and use your buttermilk.
Vanilla essence introduces a sweet, calm flavor that balances the chocolatey flavor in the cocoa.
We used all-purpose flour which worked perfectly alright. You can substitute all-purpose flour with a chocolate cake box mix.
Unsweetened cocoa is a primary ingredient in this version of Amish whoopie pie. Dutch-processed Cocoa powder possesses an earthy, roasted, bitter taste. The chocolatey flavor is a favorite to many. If you use sweetened cocoa powder, you have to reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe.
Flavors the whoopie batter. Balances out with the other flavors in the whoopie pie.
Adding hot water to the chocolate whoopie pie batter has great benefits and advantages. Hot water enhances the chocolatey flavor, it makes the flavor ‘bloom’ and therefore lasts longer. Hot water gives the whoopie pies a soft and fluffy texture, a smooth finish, and a look that is appealing to your eyes.
Cocoa powder tends to suck the moisture from the batter making it dry and crumby, adding hot water maintains the moisture in the whoopie pie batter at the right level.
To enhance the overall flavor of the Amish Chocolate Whoopie pies, add a teaspoon of coffee into the cup of hot water.
Baking soda is the leavening agent in the recipe. It reacts with the water, giving the whoopie pies that beautiful shape. You can substitute baking soda with baking powder.
Amish Whoopie Pie Filling
Amish whoopie pie filling can be made from various ingredients. We chose the simplest recipe and one whose ingredients are easy to find.
Cream cheese is soft and creamy in texture. Cream cheese has a sweet and mild taste with a tangy flavor as well. It is easy to spread at room temperature and mixes well and easily with other ingredients.
You could substitute with cool whipping cream firmed with melted white chocolate. However, if you use cool whipping cream, you have to store the Amish Chocolate whoopie pies in the refrigerator to keep the filling from melting and getting too soft and unpleasantly runny.
Cream cheese looks and almost tastes like cottage cheese but cottage cheese contains less fat as it's made from skimmed milk.
Powdered sugar is commonly used in fillings because of its extremely sweet flavor. Powdered is very smooth in texture and mixes well with cream cheese or even butter.
Vanilla essence enhances the flavor of the filling, its sweet and mild aroma blends beautifully with the cacao flavor in the chocolate Amish whoopie pies.
Stand mixer or hand mixer
Using these appliances makes work a little easier and saves a lot of time too. Most of the Amish prohibited from using electric appliances such as electric mixers.
Rubber spatula and wooden spoons
Whoopie pie pans
Whoopie pie pans save you the trouble of scooping the same amount of whoopie pie batter onto the tray. It yields perfectly sized and shaped Amish whoopie pies.
Parchment paper lines the baking tray. It prevents the whoopie pies from sticking on the pan. You can also mark the parchment paper with a pencil to keep the right spacing between the Amish chocolate whoopie pies.
Measuring spoons and cups
Measuring spoons and cups ensure you get accurate measurements of the ingredients. Use the scoop and level method to achieve the most desired results.
FAQ Chocolate Amish Whoopie Pies
Can I freeze my Amish Chocolate Whoopie Pie?
Yes, these Amish treats freeze wonderfully. Wrap the treats in parchment paper or plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-friendly bag.
Chocolate Amish whoopie pies can stay in the freezer for up to two months. If you want to enjoy the treats, remember to remove them from the freezer and leave them on the kitchen counter overnight.
What is the Amish Whoopie Pie filling made of?
The filling is made of cream and a sweetener. Some old fashioned vanilla Amish filling recipes call for raw egg whites and powdered sugar.
But if you cannot stand raw eggs in your filling like me, use cream cheese or marshmallows to make your filling. Cream cheese and powdered sugar are very stable and rarely melt, causing a mess.
The Amish Whoopie is made of two cookies that sandwich a fluffy vanilla filling. The two cookies need to have the same size.
Always use an ice cream scoop or a small-sized measuring cup when scooping out the whoopie pie batter onto the baking tray.
Chocolate Amish Whoopie Pies
- 1 cup Softened butter
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla
- 4 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 cup Cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Hot water
- 2 teaspoon Baking soda
Amish Whoopie pie-filling recipe
- 2 cups Cream cheese
- 1 cup Powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350 F, and prepare your baking tray by lining it with parchment paper.
- Attach the paddle attachment on the stand mixer. Cream sugar and butter at high speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and beat at medium speed. Add butter milk, and vanilla and beat until thoroughly incorporated.You coils also use an electric hand held mixer.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour with salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients.
- Mix until thoroughly mixed, pour the hot water in, and fold using a wooden spoon. Be sure not to overmix, overmixing will result in rubbery and chewy Amish whoopie pies.
- Using an ice cream scoop, drop cookie dough onto the prepared baking tray. Leave about 3 inches between the whoopie pies as they spread when baking.
- Bake the Amish chocolate whoopie pies for 10 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack as you prepare the filling.
- Once they have completely cooled, use a spoon or piping bag to frost the flat side of the chocolate Amish whoopie pies and cover them with another whoopie pie forming a hamburger shape.
- Wrap the Amish Whoopies with a plastic film to keep them moist and soft.