mother’s day and whoopie pies

Until yesterday, I had never eaten a whoopie pie. Apparently this is something I should be ashamed of. However, even without having eaten one, I had a firm idea of how a whoopie pie should taste. The exterior should be moist and chocolatey. The filling should be sweet, but not cloyingly so, and it should have some lightness to it — kind of like whipped cream, but not exactly. And most of all, it should not contain shortening. Apparently making whoopie pies without shortening is a deal breaker, but I was determined to find out how to make them sans Crisco for my Mother’s Day cookout.

The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book‘s Whoopie Pie recipe calls for filling made with butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, Marshmallow Fluff (or Marshmallow Creme for you folks outside of Fluffland) and a pinch of salt. The recipe is super simple to make — I had a doozy of a cold this weekend and still managed to do a beautiful job if I do say so myself (indulge me, I’m sick). I premade the batter and filling and put them in the fridge overnight, and then scooped and baked the batter in the morning. After cooling them on a rack, I then filled them with the ooey gooey filling and served. The filling wasn’t quite what I expected — it was sweet and sticky and a little overwhelming with its sugary messiness. The pies were pretty big too — only my teenage son was able to eat a whole pie in one sitting and a few of us had trouble even finishing a half. Luckily we are an informal bunch and none of us minded wearing whoopie pie on our hands and faces. For a prettier (and tidier) presentation, I would try baking them in cupcake tins and then filling the centers. But what fun would that be?

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