Also known as “gobs,” “bobs” “black-and-whites” and “BFO’S” (Big Fat Oreos), the whoopie pie is the official “state treat” of Maine. These cakey cookies exploding with buttercream have never had their origins fully explained, though most attribute it to Pennsylvania Dutch country.
My sister Jodi and I recently had an all-day marathon cookie making session that included carrot cake cookies (see them here), chocolate mint sandwich cookies (here), and these peanut butter whoopie pies. Working side by side, we quickly reverted to the traditional roles we held growing up within the structure of the Green family. She transformed into the bossy taskmaster who knows better than everyone else, while I became the whiney “mistake child” who resorts to raising his voice and cutting other people off in an effort to have his opinion respected. If you don’t believe me, check out the VIDEO PROOF below.
The combination of my sister’s and my family-fostered dysfunction and rampant insecurities appears to have worked wonders! By the end of the day we had something along the lines of 300 cookies cooling on dishes and parchment paper slices all over my home. And they all turned out pretty spectacular, plus we were still speaking to one another. There was a brief “missing acrylic fingernail” panic, but what kitchen experience is complete without one of those?
Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies from Martha Stewart
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Peanut Butter Buttercream (recipe below)
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Peanut Butter Buttercream
- 2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Fine salt (optional)
Cream peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed. On low speed, mix in sugar until combined, then beat mixture on high speed until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste, if desired. Use immediately.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; set aside.
Add butter, shortening, and sugars to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; cream on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture. Beat together, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Drop 12 slightly rounded tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of oven, 10 minutes; switch the positions of the baking sheets, and rotate each one. Continue baking until the cookies spring back to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes more.
Remove from oven; let cookies cool on baking sheets, 10 minutes.Transfer with a metal spatula to a wire rack; let cool completely. Meanwhile, line a cooled baking sheet with a new piece of parchment; repeat process with remaining batter.
Spread 1 scant tablespoon buttercream on flat sides of half the cookies. Top each with one of the remaining cookies, flat side down, and gently press together. Transfer pies to a tray.
Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers (they’re sticky!) for up to three days. Bring to room temperature before serving.