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Trivia Tuesday ~ Snack Cake Wars

14 Jun
Trivia Tuesday ~ Snack Cake Wars

What has two chocolate sides and a creamy filling in the center?  If you said an Oreo cookie, you’d guess wrong.  Here’s a few more clues;

  • What may have been originally known as the Gob?
  • What looks like an over-grown Oreo cookie but isn’t?
  • What has Maine and Pennsylvania in a lawsuit over possession of its origin?

No it’s not an ice cream sandwich.  And no, to my great dismay, it isn’t the Gobstopper from Willy Wonka either.

It’s a Whoopee Pie (Whoopee Pie)!  Once it was referred to as the Gob.  Here’s the scoop on this delicious snack, why it’s creating such a stir among a couple of states, a little bit of history on the Gob, and how it came to be known as the Whoopee Pie.  And of course, I will post at the bottom a great Whoopee Pie recipe. 😉

The big buzz isn’t about who’s snack cake tastes better, or of how many varieties you can choose from.  On the contrary, it’s who has the right to claim its origin!  Maine and Pennsylvania both would like to own this claim to fame and it’s resulted in a legal battle.  Pennsylvania states it originated there and Maine of course claims the same.

All of this started due to Maine wanting to name the Whoopee Pie as their official state snack, not to mention their blueberry pie the official state dessert.  Someone from Pennsylvania heard this and decided they should be the ones to claim the fame. (Deeming, of course, that Maine could keep their blueberry pie.)  Ok, we all know how lawsuits start, there really is no difference here.  It just seems to be over food instead of something more of what we perceive as important.  But I suppose, if I had the right to claim its creation I might fight for the right too.  Is it worthy of this great debate?  Who knows, to me it’s food – good food! – but still food.

There is some pretty substantial information to suggest that one (or both) may have come up with the idea around the same time.  But there is no refuted proof to substantiate the claims.  Nothing in black and white on either side, and what was claimed proof (on one side) has been long since lost due to fire.

Some say it is of Amish decent, others claim it to be of German origin.  It would seem to me that if it came from the Amish (Dutch) and/or German there is some question still of the origination of its creation.  None of which belong in the states themselves.  That was a transported vision from another place entirely.  Being of the German decent it is possible (having done my genealogical research), and being unable to speak of the Amish, on either account it is worthy of consideration that it didn’t originate in either state at all.  The Amish, as well as the Germans that came here, had their own ideas and way of life.  It is possible to fathom that this idea came with them as well, and it was introduced to the new place in which they came to reside.

It is said that the Gob refers to the mines full of coal refuse (lumps of coal refuse were called gob piles), and the miners lunch boxes.  (German decent).  Others say it’s origin is for farmers in the fields and it was easy to put in their lunch boxes (Amish).  On both accounts it is stated that the Gob (Whoopee Pie) was created because it filled the need of being easy to eat, easy to pack and less mess than the traditional Cupcake.  You can read the full story on the history of that here.

The Gob didn’t have a great name to make it a great selling item.  Later, it is documented as having them thrown to the crowd by the actors after a theatre production of “Let’s Make Whoopee”.  This of course had no connection to the name at that time, as the name referred to that of a more sexual inference, then that of the culinary variety.  But the name stuck and it became known as the Whoopee Pie.  And if you will, it was during the depression that this was introduced, and the name stuck.  Could it be because it was, for all intense purposes, something that was cheap (advertised for 5¢ along side the devil dogs), and it made you feel good too?  Quite possibly.

In either case, both states have more than improved on this great snack, by either adding different tastes or varieties.  Of course, I feel I should mention here, that this snack cake also is in London and other portions of the world as a whole.  They come in many different flavors and variations of the original recipe exist.  It has become a highly publicized snack and one that has earned it’s claim as being that of the “feel good variety”.  You’ll also have the peace of mind to know that it’s big enough to share with a friend, and remember a big glass of milk to go with it wouldn’t be such a bad idea either.  😀

Pennsylvania made a 250# Whoopee pie in 2010.  And, not to be outdone, Maine made a 1062# whoopee pie breaking the World’s Record as the largest ever in 2011.  (Unfortunately there was no official there to document the progress or record the finished size.)  The pie was cut and sold in pieces to raise money to send the Maine-Made Whoopee Pies to solders overseas. Here is a slide show of that history in the making.

Know You Know!  😀

Here’s a great recipe Dad found and wanted me to share with everyone.  Here’s to making people happy one stomach at a time, grab a friend and a glass of milk …. sit back and ….. Enjoy!

Picture courtesy of KingArthurFlour.com

Mom’s Whoopie Pies

Cookie Batter:

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa, sifted
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Slat
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Buttermilk

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups Prepared Marshmallow Crème
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 375°F.
With an electric mixer, beat the sugar, egg, butter, and vanilla until light and creamy.  In another bowl, mix the cocoa, baking soda, salt, and flour; then blend with buttermilk into the creamed mixture.
Drop batter by heaping tablespoons onto greased baking sheets and bake 7 – 9 minutes.  Remove from the baking sheets and allow to cool on wire racks.  Makes 30 mini-cakes.

To make the filling:  Mix together all ingredients well.

To assemble sandwich, place a heaping tablespoon of cream filling between two cakes, dividing cream evenly between the 15 whoopee pies.

Helpful Hints:

Nutritional Values per whoopee pie:
354 Calories, 4g Protein, 50g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 16g Fat, 56mg Cholesterol, 240mg Sodium.

That’s right, I never said it was the best for you, it just promised to make you feel good. 😀

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