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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oatmeal Whoopie Pies

Oatmeal Whoopie Pies - reminiscent of Little Debbie Cakes

Until last year when I began reading food blogs pretty regularly, I'd never heard of a "Whoopie Pie." When I finally asked someone exactly what they were, they brought to mind what we in the South call "Moon Pies." Those are wonderfully sweet treats, often purchased at convenience stores or in packs at the grocery store. They consist of a cookie type top and bottom coated with an icing and a middle formed of a flavored marshmallow concoction. My favorite was always banana. Traditionally, they are paired not with a dessert wine (I'm being sarcastic) but with an RC Cola.

Anyway, while Whoopie Pies weren't exactly the same thing they do seem to be the Northern equivalent of our Moon Pies and come in all sorts of varieties. In fact, they even make special Whoopie Pie pans for baking the more cake like varieties.

This particular version seems to come from Pennsylvania and utilizes an oatmeal cookie with a vanilla filling. They're very good and remind me remotely of my favorite Oatmeal Cakes by Little Debbie.

My "Sissy" - Peggy Butler
I loved those oatmeal sandwich cakes with the vanilla when I was a kid. I'm much younger than my brothers and sister - almost an afterthought in the kid department. In fact, my sister was 18 years old when I was born and I don't remember her ever being at home. By the time of my earliest memories she was married and had her own home. I used to love to visit "Sissy" which was my pet name for my sister, Peggy. She always kept those Little Debbie cakes in her cabinet and I would love to get one and eat it as a snack at her house. She also used to come visit us when she and her husband were living some distance away and she would bring me little cheese crackers made by Lance. To this day they are referred to in our family as "Sissy Crackers."

So, here's a recipe for an Oatmeal Whoopie Pie that I think is quite good.


Cookies

3/4 cup butter softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tbs. boiling water

Preheat oven to 425°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar and eggs. In separate bowl sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Add dry mixture to creamed mixture until blended. Add cinnamon and oats and mix. In small dish, add baking soda to the boiling water and then add to batter. Mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-12 minutes just until edges begin to brown. Cool cookies on wire rack.

Filling

1 large egg white
1 tbs. vanilla extract
2 tbs. milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup shortening, room temperature

In mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine egg white, milk and 1 cup of the sugar until creamed. Add remaining sugar and shortening and whisk until smooth. Spread 1 teaspoon of the filling (or more) on one cookie and top with second cookie.

These can be individually wrapped in plastic and placed in airtight containers to keep for up to 5-6 days.

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