Nothing Says Memorial Day Like…

… whoopie pies.

Well, what did you think the answer would be?

I have had whoopie pies on the brain ever since working on that autobiographical food essay last fall. (You might remember that I even excerpted a whole section on whoopie pies here at Texas Schmexas.)

Last December, my dad and I tried to make whoopie pies and, well, it was an utter failure. Okay, not utter. I should say nearly utter failure.They tasted pretty good, but they did not taste like whoopie pies, and the cake didn’t rise, and the icing turned into a marshmallow fluff that gooed out everywhere so we had to eat them with forks. (Needless to say, this is one example of why you should not always trust the Internet for recipes of regional delicacies.)

That failed whoopie pie experience sent me to my grandmother’s cookbooks to compare recipes. We learned that our Internet recipe had quite a few flaws and if either my Dad or I had taken a few minutes to think about it, we could have identified some basic baking typos (the proportions of baking soda and baking powder weren’t right in the cake; the icing lacked butter and shortening) before we even embarked on the adventure.

But adventures are fun.

I recently came across the whoopie pie recipe I swiped from my grandma’s church-women-cookbook and thought I’d better take a crack at it.

The cakes–which become the sandwich “outsides,” if you will–turned out rather spectacularly. The icing was only so-so. It didn’t get fluffy and firm like whoopie pie icing is supposed to do, but it stayed where it was put. I couldn’t complain. I wrapped them in saran wrap and put them in the frig until our 6 pm picnic as a just-in-case precaution against melting the icing.

And let me tell you what is even more fun than making whoopie pies or even eating whoopie pies:

Announcing to people who have never heard of them before to “save room for whoopie pies” after the picnic.

Because, as I’m sure you know, “whoopie” has a lot of different meanings.

Different connotations, you could say.

And most people, unless you’re from central Pennsylvania or some other Amish-influenced area, don’t think of the dessert.

Ah, but I do.

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6 comments on “Nothing Says Memorial Day Like…

  1. Elizabeth's Dad says:

    Great article! Yes, our pies were more mess than anything else but the company was good and I had a great time!

    Your pies look much better and I am sure they were BUT I personally like LOTS more icing that that! :>)

    • elizabeth says:

      Ah, yes. Some of them had more icing than this one does, but you’re right, they definitely need more. If only I could have gotten it more whipped, rather than soupy. I tried adding extra egg whites and extra flour, and neither seemed to help the cause. Alas. But at least I got the cake part down!

  2. Mom(bonnie) says:

    It’s been a long, long time since I made them, but you have me inspired to search my cookbooks!!!! I’ll keep you posted!

  3. elizabeth says:

    Give me a call and we can compare icing recipes!

  4. R, J's Brother says:

    I don’t say this only because she is my wife, but Mar makes the best whoopie pies I have ever had. If you’ve never had them, you should try her recipe to see how they compare to what you grew up with.

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