Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies – So Wrong, and Yet So Right

Admittedly, the witch joke at the beginning of the video may have been a little graphic, but that’s what I always think of when I hear the legend of how these cookies supposedly got their name. As the story goes, when these sweet treats first made their appearance, people that tasted them were so taken by the sheer awesomeness, that they went nuts and started running around shouting, “Whoopie!! Whoopie!!” 

Sure they did. This seems very exaggerated, but no matter how they got the “whoopie” part, at least the rest of the name is not accurate either. That’s right, not only is this cookie not a pie, this pie isn’t even a cookie…it’s really a little cake. Confused? Me too, and I just wrote that.

Anyway, despite the dubious name, and the other dubious name, at least the gingerbread part is accurate. Although, now that I think about it, it’s not really a ”bread”…okay, this has to stop. With holiday cookie exchanges in full swing, the only thing I can say with certainty is that these whatever-they-are’s were very delicious, fun to make, and I hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 9 to 12 finished Gingerbread Whoopie Pies (depending on the size!)
10 ounces (by weight) all-purpose flour (about 2 cups of sifted flour - see note below!)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 rounded teaspoons ground ginger (3 if you like it spicy)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup boiling water
Bake at 350ºF or about 12 minutes
For the filling (makes extra!):
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tsp cream or milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
*you can adjust texture by adding more powdered sugar or milk

View the complete recipe

Flour portioning note: It is critical to weigh the flour for this recipe to work as seen in the video. 10 ounces by weight is about 2 cups by volume, but because flour can become quite compressed in the bag or canister, portioning by cup is not very accurate. If you are not going to weigh, only add about a cup and a half of flour, proceed as shown, and if the batter seems too thin after mixing, add more flour, little by little, until you have the thick batter seen in the video.