5 WHOOPS!!! · Massachusetts

#plaguepies

Top of the quarantine to you, my rascals.

To begin, I hope you are safe and healthy AND that you are keeping others healthy by staying at home! Since you can’t go out to your favorite whoopie pie purveyor right now, I thought it would be the perfect time to share the recipe for my cousin Susan’s absolutely perfect whoopie pies. This is the GOLD STANDARD of whoopie pie. Let this little gift you are about to receive be an incentive for you to stay at home and flatten the curve. You don’t even have to give in to that pesky societal norm of “shame” for eating a dozen whoopie pies by yourself.

You all already have emergency marshmallow Fluff in your pantry at all times, right? #massachusettsproblems #ambrosiaofthegods

IMG_2485.PNG

THE RECIPE

The PIE

  • 6 tbs. canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 tbs. cacao
  • 1.5 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 bag chopped chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine ingredients in order above. Using a spoon, dollop rounds of batter 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. While the pies are cooling, match them in same-size pairs and make…

The CREME

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup marshmallow Fluff
  • 2 drops vanilla
  • 1/2 bag chopped chocolate chips

Beat until fluffy. When pies are completely cool, spread a spoonful of creme between pies. ENJOY!

Maine

3 for 1 Deal!

Hello loyal readers,

Today, whoopie pie aficionado Jeremy Woodward—along with a panel of his esteemed colleagues—chimes in on three pies sampled in the state of Maine. This guy is one of my favorite fiddle dads of all time, has his own IMDB page, and perhaps most saliently, he is the world’s first licensed Whoopie Pie Sommelier, an award bestowed right now by the Academy of Me. Congratulations, Jeremy.

I hope you enjoy his perceptive reviews as much as I did. Take heed, brave souls.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Sara’s Whoopie Pie

We picked up this pie at Amato’s, the ubiquitous Maine Italian sandwich joint.  High hopes that this pie would prove to be both delicious and readily available.

Tasters found this to be not the case.  Despite picking through the selection in the basket at the register, we couldn’t find one with sufficient filling.  The most filled we managed to find was still a little short.  (get it?  short?)
The filling was sweet, shortening heavy, with little distinctive flavor.  The cake was dry, with an ok crumb, but the cakes were far too tall and the filling too short  (get it?  short?)
Kudos to Amato’s for bringing the whoopie pie to every busy traffic intersection in the state of Maine, but this pie is an easy pass.
still searching, JDub
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Waldo’s Whoopie Pie

Spoiler alert:  this one’s a winner.

This pie came highly recommended by a extremely discerning Maine family, who find them on route 1 in Falmouth.  As a measure of their confidence and impatience, the pie was delivered to your tasters before breakfast.
unnamed
The cake was exceptional.  Moist, dense, intensely chocolatey, with chocolate chips in the cake which give the cakes a great bite.
The tasters found the filling a little gritty with sugar.  There was some disagreement whether this was desirable.  Some enjoy the texture of a sugary filling, others prefer a perfectly smooth creme.
That said, this pie was enjoyed by all, and all readers are recommended to enjoy them wherever they are found.
still searching, JDub
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Cape Whoopie 
(editor’s note: although the writer at The Big Whoop has recently ruled that she will only post positive reviews of WPs, she must agree in the sordid case of the Cape Whoopie)

Not actually made in the cape!  What’s the deal?  This poser failed to deliver.

The cake had a case of brownie dysmorphia.  If it just accepted itself and came out as a brownie, it would be happy, welcome, loved by all.  But trying to pass itself off as a whoopie pie cake, it’s a little awkward for everyone, and no-one is buying it,
The filling was pasty, and little bland.  Inspection of the ingredient list reveals that it includes cream cheese.  I want to give credit for the bold play, but sadly, it didn’t pan out well.
In fairness, I have to register the firm conviction of one taster that the brownie-style cake with a cream cheese filling makes a fantastic whoopie pie that she very much enjoyed.  I cling to my narrow, definitional outlook, and hold firm that this is no whoopie pie for me.
still searching, JDub
New Hampshire

A Belated Whoop

Loyal reader,

I apologize PROFUSELY for the dearth of whoopie pie-related news. I don’t know what I’ve been doing with myself lately…clearly my priorities need some adjusting. Back in December, I went on tour with Irish accordionist John Whelan and Americana powerhouse Low Lily. We had a lot of laughs, good tunes and, you guessed it, some whoopie pies. We picked up two at the White Mountain Café in Gorham, NH. The first featured a rich peanut butter creme. This is what folks had to say:

Flynn Cohen: “OH MY GOD!”

Liz Simmons: “I don’t have much to compare it to because I’m not a big whoopie-pie consumer, but I must say the peanut butter frosting is to die for.”

We waited to sample the second pie until after our gig that night. This was a traditional pie, paired with a selection of bourbon and wine:

John Whelan: “This is the very first whoopie pie I’ve ever eaten. It’s not my favorite kind of whoopie, but it’s really good.”

Corey DiMario: “The icing doesn’t have a real…[thoughtful pause]…it’s no buttercream.”

Lissa Schneckenburger: “I don’t like whoopie pies.” 

There you have it. A very divided panel. From folk music’s finest to your own pantry, this is the Big Whoop signing off until next time!

4 Whoops · Maine

A pie redolent of the sea…

Cote’s Ice Cream—Brunswick, Maine

A sea-flavored heady mix wafted through the forest as we made our way to the isolated beach called Morse Mountain. The two-mile jaunt through the woods—with mosquitos playfully nipping at our heels and turkeys carousing in the meadow—made the place feel like a secret all our own. An afternoon spent by the sea…the laughs and murmurs of three dear companions…even the perfect summer day must come to an end and slowly we made our way back to the sleepy port town I’ve come to know as the home of my beloved.

Our coach came to rest for a brief sojourn in the quaint village of Brunswick. With the mellifluous cajun strains of accordion and fiddle wafting across the town common, it was easy to imagine we had stepped into another time, another place. It was as if we had traipsed into the steamy bayous of Louisiana with alligators lolling in the sun and the inebriating smell of andouille sausage in the pan. But no, tinged with a raucous and infectious Acadian joie de vivre, we could only be in Maine.

We spied a rustic red shed and made our way across the green, lace-frocked girls frolicking to the rousing southern ditties. Greedily and longingly I supplicated to the busty farm girl tending the stand—may I have a honeycombed golden cone crowned with your local delicacy, whoopie-pie ice cream? I exchanged a few crumpled bills and coins for my prize, dripping sticky-sweet down my fingers in the glowing summer sun.

Criss-crossed with veins of marshmallow buttercream and studded with decadent chocolate cake, the perfectly velvety vanilla sweetcream was a flawless backdrop for a whoopie pie. I raised my voice to the heavens and howled not thrice, but four times! This whoopie pie moved me to utter 4 of the loveliest and most gut-wrenching whoops of my career as the world’s premier whoopie-pie reviewer. I hope that someday you too are moved to bellow to the sky in the ecstasy only a whoopie pie can bring.

IMG_5183

 

2 Whoops · Oregon

A Western Whoop!

It’s a momentous day for sure here at Big Whoop HQ. Today we’re reviewing the very first whoopie pie we’ve sampled outside of New England! Last week I was on tour on the west coast and we played a show in the delightful small town of Ashland, Oregon. Home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and my friend Elias, it’s a beautiful community just north of the California border.

IMG_4970
Ashland has many redeeming qualities

Before our gig, we stopped at Sauce for a wholesome dinner of tempeh/nutritional yeast/sprouted tofu/liquid aminos/yougettheidea. BUT…what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a refrigerator case chock-full-o whoopie pies! The two teen boys we were having dinner had been led to believe that whoopie pies only existed at this establishment. Poor waifs, if only they knew the land of bounty to the east!

IMG_4965

An elusive creature, this west-coast whoopie was both GLUTEN-free and SUGAR-free, two ingredients which I had previously believed to be necessary for a proper whoopie pie. (Spoiler alert: it turns out that they are.) While this little whoopie pie tried as hard as it could, I can in good conscience only award it 2/5 Whoops.

 

3 Whoops · Massachusetts

Guest Blog: S’more Whoopie Pie

Today we feature our first guest blogger on The Big Whoop! Keeping it in the family, I’ve asked my oldest and dearest whoopie pie pal, to weigh in on a recent WP expedition. By day, Dana practices family medicine in the Boston-area but by night, she is whoopie pie aficionado numero uno! Let’s see what she has to say.

by Dr. Dana Marcinkowski-Desmond                                                                                    

One Tuesday vacation night, after a long day of lounging and doing nothing, the boy and I headed downtown for some cocktails. It was a terrible day: the wind was furious, it was just above freezing, and the precipitation alternated between torrential downpour and classic Boston mist. Despite Mother Nature’s attempts to thwart our plans, I was determined to brave the elements and drink some impeccable cocktails whilst enjoying the finest French fries known to humankind. Our destination: Drink.

For the uninitiated, Drink is a craft cocktail bar with no drink menu. I’d gone almost weekly for years, but had recently hadn’t been in ages. Their only failing, as far as I was concerned, had been the lack of dessert on their short food menu. On this frigid April evening, as we strolled in and took our seats, a new friend greeted me from the menu: a s’mores whoopie pie. I was positively giddy.

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 12.11.22 PM

Overall, as you can see, this is a good sized pie. We eat ate one, which was certainly a mistake. As a whoopie pie should be, the aesthetics are simple. There is no elegance to the pie, nor should there be. The cake of this pie is a slightly charred graham cracker confection. The filling is a rum soaked marshmallow, slightly toasted, with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. The filling of this cake is, frankly, perfection. The marshmallow is light and flavorful, perfectly toasted –just what you would need in a perfect s’more. I grew up on a marshmallow stuffed pie, and this filling was about as good as it gets. The chocolate sauce was slightly bitter, preventing the marshmallow from being sickly sweet.

Tragically, the cake itself was dry, and slightly lacking in flavor. In combination with the marshmallow and chocolate sauce, I could have sworn I was sitting around a campfire. But no amount of cocktails could cover up the fact that the cake itself probably could have done with less oven time, a little more graham, and far more marshmallow delight.

The deliciousness of the cream allows this pie to get 3/5 whoops!

2 Whoops · New Hampshire

A whoopsie pie

45 Market Street Bakery

Sweet reader,

I’m writing to you from the Seacoast Farmers Market in Exeter, NH this morning. New Hampshire’s seacoast spans a glorious 19 miles and as a bright-eyed young New Hampshirite, I thought there was no place more beautiful in the entire world (salt mountains of Portsmouth notwithstanding.)

My roommate, Rachel, and our friend, Siena, are playing twin fiddles in the background and serenading a passel of delighted farmers and children. Also, can we get #wholehogsausage trending?

IMG_3855

Today, I’m reviewing a whoopie pie from a farmers market vendor—45 Market Street Bakery & Cafe, located in Somersworth, NH. This is a whopper of a whoopie pie, at least 6 inches in diameter at its widest point. They offered the traditional chocolate whoopie pie as well as a pumpkin variety. I went with the chocolate one for consistency’s sake, but this pie did not pass muster. Not only was the cake dry, but it was so thick that the paltry cream in the middle couldn’t possibly atone for the sins of this devil’s food. The filling itself seemed to be a typical buttercream—overly sweet and lacking the lightness necessary to counteract the abundance of cake. 

IMG_3849

I tried to like this pie. I really did. But unfortunately, this whoopie pie receives only 2 out of 5 whoops.