Having grown up in the south, I have an allegiance to how certain foods are prepared (ahem – cornbread dressing.) No one does chicken salad or pimento cheese quite like they do in the south. And I’d hold up my mom’s pecan pie to anyone’s around.
But Maine has quite a few delicacies of its own that I have come to know and love since moving here. Obviously, it goes without saying, they have the lock on lobster and blueberry anything. And Portland has found itself on the map as a true foodie city. But I had never heard of a whoopie pie before I met my husband and I had certainly never tasted anything like it!
I remember my first visit to Maine many years ago. He was telling me about his favorite dessert treat before we stopped to pick some up. I was trying so hard to picture something I could relate to. My first thought was moon pie? But oh my word, a whoopie pie is about a million times better than a moon pie (which by the way I never really cared for) and really, there is no comparison.
While some question whether the whoopie pie actually originated in Maine, (Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire all claim it as their own) Mainers wholeheartedly believe whoopie pies belong to them. They are rightfully referred to as Maine’s best known and most loved comfort food. I recently read that it is actually the official state treat of Maine. So loved is this delicious dessert, that there is even a whoopie pie festival, where bakers from across Maine enter their tasty versions to compete for top whoopie pie.
In recent years, there has been a growing popularity in whoopie pies in other areas of the country and with that comes creative licensing. Various versions of it now include red velvet with cream cheese, chocolate with peanut butter, chocolate with peppermint…you get the picture. But in my opinion, none compares to the original chocolate sandwich with marshmallow creme filling.
And if you are wondering how in the world you can get your hands on a true Maine recipe, I have good news. My sister-in-law makes just about the best whoopie pie I’ve tasted and she has graciously agreed to share her recipe with all of us! She tells me the key to the perfect filling is the marshmallow fluff – gotta use the fluff!
Alicia’s Delicious Whoopie Pies
- 4 cups flour
- 2 t salt
- 2 t baking soda
- 1 cup cocoa
Mix above ingredients
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 cups sugar
Cream above ingredients and add:
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 eggs
Add dry ingredients to wet, alternating with 1 cup sour milk (1 cup milk and 1 T white vinegar.)
Add 1 cup hot water to above mixture.
Use a small cookie scoop and scoop onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Once Cool, make a sandwich with the frosting (below) and wrap individually in wax paper to maintain freshness.
- 6 T marshmallow fluff
- 1 T vanilla
- 4 cups confectioner sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
Mix together. Frosting will be thick. If too thick, thin with a little milk.