Whoopie Pie

2 c. All-purpose flour
1/2 c. Cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp Baking soda
2/3 tsp Salt
3/4 c. Milk
3/4 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Vanilla
6 tbsp Vegetable or canola oil
2/3 c. Brown sugar
2 Large eggs

1/4 c. Unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tbsp Milk
2 c. Icing sugar
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To make sour milk, add 1 tbsp of lemon juice and add milk to make 1 cup. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. (The sour milk can be replaced with 1 cup of buttermilk.)

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat together the vegetable oil and brown sugar until there are no sugar clumps. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined.

Alternately mix in the flour mixture and the sour milk mixture, starting and ending with flour. Scrap down the side of the bowl to ensure even mixing. At this point, the batter might become too dense for the electric mixer; you may switch to using a wooden spoon for mixing. Stir until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer spoonfuls of batter onto greased baking sheets, spacing each mound approximately 2-inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool completely on wire racks.

For the filling, beat together butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.

Before assembling the pies, try to pairs of cakes that match in shape and size. Spoon the filling onto the flat side of one cake and top with a second cake.

My comments:

When I was a university student, my friends and I spent a lot of evenings, weekends and summer at school. There is a little convenient store, "conveniently" located next to the engineering building, where we can find tons of homemade desserts and pastries, always fresh and yummy. Ironically, the name of this store is "The Goody Shop". One of our favourite perk-me-treats is their infamous whoopie pie. It is the best thing since sliced bread, I kid you not! With the unspeakable amount of sugar and chocolate contained in one little pie, it's no wonder that it was so popular with university students. It sure beats those energy drinks or caffeine pills students are popping these days.

After moving away, my friends and I occasionally reminisce about the good ol' times and some things always bring back warm and fuzzy memories. We've made these delectable treats several times and they were always a big hit. Unfortunately, I'm not as young as I used to be; my system shouldn't be processing delectable foods like this and if I want to pig out on whoopie pies, I best make a few adjustments to the recipe to produce a "healthier" version. So I've combined ideas from the Epicurious recipe and the Recipezaar recipe and made a few modifications.

My "healthy" whoopie pies were good, but definitely not as good as a full-fat version. I substituted the butter with vegetable oil and reduced the sugar content overall, especially in the chocolate cakes since the sugar cream filling is sweet enough to make up for the difference. I did find the cakes a little dry the first time I tried this recipe, so I've increased the amount milk by a little bit. A less dough-y batter will help the mounds spread a little better as they bake, whereas mine hardly spread at all.

Overall, I liked these whoopie pies and will definitely make them again. They store well in the fridge (up to several days) and they make great lunch snacks!!