Move over cupcakes. The darling of the pastry-set these days are Whoopie Pies, a less precious, more lunchbox-friendly marriage of cake and cream.
Last week, the New York Times broadcast the trend that purports to have its roots either in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country (well known for tasty fare that can hold you through a barn-raising) or New England. No one is really sure.
The current appeal is clearly the pie’s working-class roots. Some say the name stems from the exclamation of “Whoopie!” from happy farmers who found the cream sandwiches in their lunches. Nor’easterners are also familiar with these mushy, smushy, delicious cookies stocked in corner delis and gas stations as comforting snack fare. There’s also the nostalgia factor as anyone who had (or wished they had) a Little Debbie Oatmeal cream cookie stashed into their brown bag can remember.
As the Whoopie comes into its own, clever pastry chefs are leaving behind simple chocolate or vanilla cake and Crisco filling for flavors like pumpkin and fresh buttercream fillings. Kind of like what we’ve seen happen to cupcakes (for the better, of course).
So delight in the dunkable, dippable, finger-licking wonderful pleasures of childhood once more. You trend-setter, you.
And if you’re wondering, yes, the Whoopie is a close relation of the
Southern Moon Pie — made with graham crackers and marshmallow, then
covered with chocolate. Albeit a slightly simpler cousin.
Available locally at Oliver’s Market in Santa Rosa.
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