Monday, July 19, 2010

S'mores Whoopie Pies

I'm not sure when my mini obsession with whoopie pies began, but it's a relatively recent obsession. SP & I were talking about it this morning, and we think it all started last July the week my grandfather passed away. The weekend before, SP had bought some Chocolate Gobs at Costco and they were very tasty. We were slowly munching our way through a container. Then mid-week my grandfather passed away and my family came into town and the gobs quickly disappeared. We had to buy more Chocolate Gobs at Costco and then those were eaten in short order and someone was dispatched to Costco for more Chocolate Gobs. It was definitely a very Chocolate Gob filled time.

Not long after that, we discovered the Yum Yums at Bethel Bakery. Delicious, soft, spongy cookies filled with their buttercream icing - ohhh I was in love. It was autumn, and the pumpkin gobs were popping up at places like Simmons Farm. Then we discovered the Almond Raspberry Yum Yums at Bethel Bakery. Whoopie pie recipes seemed to be appearing everywhere and suddenly, I was all excited every time we found a whoopie pie/gob/yum yum.Admittedly, despite collecting many whoopie pie recipes, I've only tried baking one type of whoopie pie: the Mini Raspberry White Chocolate Whoopie Pies we made last Christmas. They turned out OK, but they just weren't as whoopie-licious as the Costco Gobs and Bethel Bakery Yum Yums. I was disappointed.

Then this month Brown Eyed Baker and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette both wrote about a new whoopie pie cookbook, appropriately titled Whoopie Pies, co-written by a Pittsburgh native, Sarah Billingsley. Brown Eyed Baker wrote about making the S'mores Whoopie Pies recipe from the new cookbook and I was again hooked on making whoopies.Our plans to make these last weekend were foiled by not being able to locate Graham Flour at Giant Eagle Market District. SP went to Whole Foods during a lunch hour and found it there. We did not know that Graham Flour is named after a person, not a plant, and that it is a type of whole wheat flour.

Rather than simply grinding the whole grain wheat kernel (bran, germ, and endosperm), in graham flour the components are ground separately. The endosperm is ground finely, initially creating white flour. The bran and germ are ground coarsely. The two parts are then mixed back together, creating a coarse-textured, brown flour with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Graham flour is unrefined and unbleached. Although the terms graham flour and whole wheat flour are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. Graham flour is a slightly coarser grind than whole wheat flour.This sounded suspiciously like healthy whoopie pies to me, but SP assured me that after we added the sugar to the graham flour and then covered them with chocolate and marshmallow fluff, there'd be nothing healthy about them!

The cookie batter is easy to make. It uses dark brown sugar, so I had the enviable task of breaking up the super hard lumps of our dark brown sugar. It's always fun to have hard bits of brown sugar shooting around the kitchen. While I scooped out dough and baked the cookies, SP made the chocolate ganache, which is just chocolate chips and warmed heavy cream. Mmmmm chocolate ganache. We put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill it faster.SP also made the marshmallow fluff. You don't just scoop out globs of fluff from the jar and layer it between the cookies. The fluff is mixed with vegetable shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Apparently, fluff right from the jar is very sticky and difficult to work with - SP was sort of cursing and getting it all over himself and he was complaining about being sticky. I evilly chuckled and figured it was revenge for making me break up all those hard lumps of dark brown sugar.He does admit that the final fluff is really tasty. Not at all healthy, and we're trying to forget about the vegetable shortening in there, but oh my gosh. So yummy. SP says it reminds him of Devil Dog filling. Apparently, Devil Dogs were a favorite treat during his childhood.

I set about slathering on the chocolate and fluff.I used all the ganache. It looked like maybe it was too much, but when we ate the finished whoopie, any less ganache would not have been enough. I didn't spread the fluff on. I plopped slightly rounded spoonfuls on top:And then I squished the fluff when I pressed on the tops.Mmm. S'mores Whoopie Pies. These definitely taste like s'mores. SP likes the graham cookies more than I do and would like to have a batch of just the cookies. Our cookies seem a bit thicker than the cookies in the photos of the S'mores Whoopies at Brown Eyed Baker - maybe I should have flattened the scoops of dough before baking?My s'mores whoopie fell apart on me. My mouth just isn't big enough to cram all those layers in at the same time. My cookies broke, the fluff was fluffing all over my face. I finally dropped my whoopie on the cookie sheet, chopped it up with a fork, and ate it by the forkful. Mangled whoopie:I am glad we saved the extra fluff because I think the proportion of cookie to filling is too great. I would prefer to have open-face s'mores whoopie pies. But, alas, we made them all sandwiches, so I think I will be adding some additional fluff to my whoopies when I eat them with a fork! Or, we might scoop off the top cookie for SP and then I'll eat the fluff, chocolate, and bottom cookie.

Making Whoopie Pies is time consuming. It's much easier when there are two people sharing the work of whoopies, but it still took us 2 hours from start to finish, including clean up and storing the whoopies in containers. At least these are tasty enough to be worth the effort!

4 comments:

  1. these look delicious! I've been wanting to make pumpkin whoopie pies for quite a while but never got around to it. Too bad you can't get pumpkin anywhere now! Next October I'm tracking down and hoarding tons of pumpkin!

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  2. those look awesome! i'm jealous!

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  3. I'm glad you liked these! They are great for summer cookouts - you can taste s'mores without a fire!

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