(NAPSI)-While some believe that whoopie pies were first made in New England and others claim they originated as an Amish dessert, all agree that they are a delicious, all-American treat. Tradition has it that when children would find the treat in their lunch bag, they would yell “Whoopie!”
A whoopie pie actually resembles a sandwich. There are two soft cookies-usually chocolate-with a fluffy cream filling-often vanilla-in between.
Over time there have been variations, such as pumpkin or red velvet for the cookies. The fluffy cream center can vary as well. Here is a prize-winning twist that relies on Maraschino cherries for flavor and color.
Cherry Whoopie Pies
1 jar (10 oz.) Maraschino cherries
1 pkg. (18¼ oz.) red velvet cake mix
½ cup canola oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 can (16 oz.) cream cheese frosting
1 carton (12 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 jar (10 oz.) Maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
Cut 22 cherries in half (save remaining cherries for another use). In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil and extract; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Top each with a cherry half. Bake at 350° F for 8−10 minutes or until edges are set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
For filling, beat frosting and whipped topping until blended; fold in chopped cherries. Spread filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: about 2 dozen.
To learn more, visit the National Cherry Growers and Industries Foundation at www.nationalcherries.com.
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