Jjraffe over at Too Many Fish to Fry started a Cooking with Capote project for the month of April to encourage bloggers to write about food, but specifically: their emotional attachments, stories and family lore around certain culinary traditions. Here’s my first contribution.
There was one positive to the BBQ Inferno and that was my dessert. I had every intention of making cupcakes until the day before when I realized I wanted to make something a little different, something no one has heard of around these parts and that’s when I decided I’d make…Whoopie Pies!
Image courtesy of abakedcreation*
No, they’re not Moon Pies. Don’t you even dare try and call them that to my face, and don’t you go try and compare them to Devil Dogs, either. A Whoopie Pie is neither. The former are sugary, over-processed, cakey pastries. Whoopie Pies are traditional, homemade, two not-cakes-and-not-quite-cookies pressed together with creamy vanilla (and sometimes peanut butter).
Growing up in Maine, you’ll find Whoopies Pies every where from family gatherings to the gas station down the street; the real ones always homemade and never from a factory. They’re a Maine state tradition.
Unfortunately, it seems Pennsylvania claims they invented the Whoopie Pie as well so now there’s a battle going on between the two states. Yet Maine is finally ready to stake it’s claim on this delicious treat and make it the official state dessert. I have a few generations of family behind me ready to prove those folks from PA wrong and I’m pretty sure if you stopped a random Mainer on the street, they’d say the same thing. And you don’t want to mess with Mainers and their traditions. Especially when it comes to chocolatey-creamy-goodness like the Whoopie Pie.
Image courtesy of Martha Stewart*
What’s next? Are you going to try and take our lobster, too, PA?
Sorry…where was I? Right. My Whoopie Pies. BBQ Inferno. Saturday.
I started out early since I had never actually made them before and I wasn’t sure consuming copious amounts of them in my childhood meant I’d be any good at making them. An hour or so later, I had 32 perfect little chocolate discs and a creamy filling the best one has tasted this side of the Mississippi. So in other words, that’s all I needed because they came out PERFECT! Straight out of my childhood.
Of course, my camera was out of batteries and I didn’t have my phone on me, so there’s no actual evidence of said perfection, so you’ll have to just take my word for it. They were perfect.
I brought my cake stand along with me and piled them high exactly like this:
Picture courtesy of Just a Taste*
I put candles in two, one for each of the birthday girls and the few that ate them (men mostly), seemed to love them.
Sadly, I felt like the work and love I put into them went unnoticed. But it didn’t matter. For me, in the middle of my hell on Saturday, they gave me a few moments of heaven. Maybe that’s why I made them after all. They provided me a little comfort going into that awful situation; a little piece of me and my family to act as an armor for my fear.
I’m failing you though, Jjraffe, and I’m not including my recipe. Because if I did, I’d have to kill you. And you’re just too sweet not to have around here.
But maybe, if ya’ll are lucky, I’ll make some for you someday. Maybe you’ll find a little piece of comfort in my tradition, too.
* Just a note: none of the recipes attached to these photos are the traditional recipe, which is why they’re not linked.