Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies – So Wrong, and Yet So Right

Admittedly, the witch joke at the beginning of the video may have been a little graphic, but that’s what I always think of when I hear the legend of how these cookies supposedly got their name. As the story goes, when these sweet treats first made their appearance, people that tasted them were so taken by the sheer awesomeness, that they went nuts and started running around shouting, “Whoopie!! Whoopie!!” 

Sure they did. This seems very exaggerated, but no matter how they got the “whoopie” part, at least the rest of the name is not accurate either. That’s right, not only is this cookie not a pie, this pie isn’t even a cookie…it’s really a little cake. Confused? Me too, and I just wrote that.

Anyway, despite the dubious name, and the other dubious name, at least the gingerbread part is accurate. Although, now that I think about it, it’s not really a ”bread”…okay, this has to stop. With holiday cookie exchanges in full swing, the only thing I can say with certainty is that these whatever-they-are’s were very delicious, fun to make, and I hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 9 to 12 finished Gingerbread Whoopie Pies (depending on the size!)
10 ounces (by weight) all-purpose flour (about 2 cups of sifted flour - see note below!)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 rounded teaspoons ground ginger (3 if you like it spicy)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup boiling water
Bake at 350ºF or about 12 minutes
For the filling (makes extra!):
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tsp cream or milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
*you can adjust texture by adding more powdered sugar or milk

View the complete recipe

Flour portioning note: It is critical to weigh the flour for this recipe to work as seen in the video. 10 ounces by weight is about 2 cups by volume, but because flour can become quite compressed in the bag or canister, portioning by cup is not very accurate. If you are not going to weigh, only add about a cup and a half of flour, proceed as shown, and if the batter seems too thin after mixing, add more flour, little by little, until you have the thick batter seen in the video.

32 comments:

Mark Anderson said...

Another great recipe. The hits just keep on coming!

I might try this one over the weekend, but I don't have a mixer of any sort. Can I get by with a wood spoon, a large bowl, and a lot of effort?

Bindi Enkh-Amgalan said...

You are the best, Chef John!! and so funny love watching your videos!

Jasen said...

What no cayenne? All joking aside great looking recipe and cant wait to give it a shot.

Jasen said...

What no cayenne? All joking aside these look fantastic and cant wait to give them a try.

Rita said...

just the other day, the husband asked me to make something ginger-y... here it is! i will surely make this one. thanks!

...as always - keep those fantastic recipes coming.

Gretchen inNOLA said...

stop talking with your mouth full, young man! Whoopeeeeeee! (hiding all lighters in the house)

Lazybuttons said...

Ermagherd!!1

<3

Lazybuttons said...

Ehrmagherd!!1

<3

Lakshmi Hariharan said...

How can I alter this recipe to remove the eggs? This is for my parents who dont eat eggs .

Lakshmi Hariharan said...

what can I substitute the eggs for? My parents dont eat eggs but I want to make this for them

Chef John said...

Sorry, needs the eggs.

parrotjag said...

can i use fresh ginger instead of ground

Ryanh said...

Chef John, when you use melted butter why is it so creamy looking? Almost like heavy cream. It's very white. Is there a special brand or kind of butter you use. When I use melted butter it is always very yellow and separates.

statesoferica said...

Hey Chef John,

Been watching your videos for ages now and I finally worked up the courage to start up a food blog. I only have one food blog post up (man, editing pictures takes a lot more work than I thought they would...props to you!). Anyways I would love comments for feedback/advice on how to improve everything. My pictures aren't the best quality since I'm a broke college student who can't afford a proper camera (using my phone camera)! But I hope you do check it out! I'm open to any type of suggestions (especially an efficient way to edit photos)

http://statesoferica.blogspot.com/
Thanks, you're the best!

Chef John said...

Good luck with the blog, erica! I can't give away any trade secrets, but there are a million food photog how-to articles online and on youtube. Check them out!

Chef John said...

Ryanh, it's not creamy, I'm just adding the stuff to the pan before the butter really separates.

Juveriya said...

Can I make a big batch of these and freeze them? If yes, should I freeze them without the filling?

Emma Esquire said...

Hi chef, delicious looking, dying to try it.
But where I come from its hard to find molasses. Any substitute for dark molasses?

anthony del ciotto said...

ok i tryed making this, but i ended up with a batter thats waaaaaaaaay too thick. i think the recipe your wrote might be slightly off.

Chef John said...

Don't think so, as I've heard from several people that have tried it that it came out great. But if there is an error on measurements, I'll hear from many more people about it. BTW, did you weigh the flour? You may have packed your cups which adds more.

Chef John said...

Anthony,

I just tested the batter. The measurements are exact. Did you use boiling water? Cold water will make it seem much thicker.

anthony del ciotto said...

hmmm I used boiling water, but i didn't weigh the flour i used measuring cups. next time i try it i'll weigh the flour instead.

BigMike said...

Chef John,
Well now that Devil Dogs have gone the way of the dodo bird, this looks to be my new favorite cookie/pie/cake/thingy. I've never really liked frosting on cake. People tell me that's really weird. They're right.
Can you tell me what I would have to tweak to make a chocolate version to satisfy my Devil Dog withdrawal symptoms?

Chef John said...

Too much to tweak. Better to find a chocolate wp recipe instead. There are thousands posted online. Enjoy!

Odette said...

Chef - I'm making these for a cookie exchange but would like the filling to have a lemon flavor ... I have lemons, but juice or zest? Don't want to make the filling runny with too much juice - any advice would be so appreciated!

Chef John said...

Zest! Good luck! Be sure to weigh the flour!

Sean Hensley said...

Firstly, I wanted to say thank you for the great videos, you're my biggest inspiration for picking up cooking. I tried this recipe recently and it turned out alright but the gingerbread cake rounds wound up looking kind of flat (I weighed the flour instead of measuring it with cups). Any insight as to what I might have done wrong?

Chef John said...

Sorry, but I'm not sure! Wish I knew but unless I watched you I couldn't tell. Usually means too thin batter.

Gretchen inNOLA said...

Made these yesterday for our neighborhood firefighters as part of the #26Actsofkindness, and they loved them. Two of the guys apparently watch your videos and knew where I got the recipe, AND knew better than to shout "whoopie!" So cute

Chef John said...

lol! thanks!

Melissa Andrews said...

Hi Chef John,
How can I make these into chocolate pies instead of gingerbread? I tried substituting with a tbsp of unsweetened cocoa but that didn't seem to do anything at all. The texture of the pies came out great, but flavor was blan. Any suggestions? Thank you! Love your videos & recipes!!!

Chef John said...

Sorry It doesn't work like that! You're better off just going and finding a chocolate whoopie pie recipe. Good luck and enjoy!