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Whoopie Pies

For the cookies:
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup hot water
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (we used Crisco)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional)

For the filling:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional)
3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Few drops of milk, if necessary

For the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa and salt, then set them aside. In a glass measure, dissolve the baking soda in the hot water, then add the milk and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and flavorings and beat another minute. Stir in half of the dry ingredients, then half of the wet ingredients; repeat.

Drop the batter by heaping teaspoons, about 2 inches apart, on an ungreased cookie sheet. This amount makes 48 cookies or 24 pies. If there is extra batter, distribute it among the smaller heaps of batter. Do not make extra cookies.

Bake the cookies for 8 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes, then remove to racks to cool thoroughly.

For the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, vegetable shortening and flavorings. Add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, beating until fluffy. The frosting is just right for spreading at this point. But if you like a somewhat creamier consistency, slowly add drops of milk until the frosting is to your liking. Remember, if you add milk, it limits the keeping quality at room temperature of the finished product.

Pair up the cookies by size and shape in rows. Place a generous amount of frosting on the flat side of 24 cookies. Do not add the covers yet. If there is extra frosting, add it to those cookies with less filling. The filling should be quite generous. Top each with a second cookie to make 24 sandwich pies.

Wrap the whoopie pies individually in plastic wrap or place them in a single layer on a platter. Don't stack them, as they tend to stick. They freeze well. Makes 24.

To freeze: Wrap each Whoopie Pie in plastic wrap. Loosely pack them in a plastic freezer container and cover tightly.

To serve: Defrost the wrapped whoopie pies for 5 hours or longer in the refrigerator. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Marlene Parrish

Thursday, October 12, 2000

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