Today’s recipe is for “Whoopee (Whoopie) Pies”, dark chocolate cookie treats that are sandwiched together two by two with a creamy sweet icing in between.
When I was growing up I used to wonder why these cookies were called “Whoopee Pies”. The phrase “making whoopee” was originally a slang term that meant “to engage in a noisy, boisterous celebration”, but in the early to mid 1900s Hollywood also used the term as a euphemism for “making love”, to avoid upsetting censors and delicate movie-goers of the day.
“Makin’ Whoopee” is also a song title, with lyrics by Gus Kahn. Although versions of this song have been recorded by various artists since it was written in the early 1900s, my favourite is the one from the musical biography, “I’ll See You in My Dreams”, a 1951 black-and-white film starring Danny Thomas as Gus Kahn and Doris Day as his wife, Grace.
In the movie, the song “Makin’ Whoopee” mentions brides and grooms and honeymoons, love nests and baby clothes, providing a warning about the possible repercussions of ‘whoopee-makin’.
I wonder if the name “Whoopee Pies” is somehow related to the Hollywood euphemism, suggesting that eating these cookies is as satisfying as ‘making whoopee’, ‘making love’?
Might I suggest that you make your own informed decision about how good these cookies are? Why don’t you rent the film “I’ll See You in My Dreams” from your local movie store and watch it while devouring a fresh batch of “Whoopee Pies”. You can let me know your verdict later on. Thanks.
½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
5 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Cream shortening, add sugar and then egg yolks. Mix together well. Add milk, vanilla, and dry ingredients. Mix well. Roll out and cut in circles. Bake in moderate (350°F) oven. Put together with the following filling.
½ cup margarine
2 cups icing sugar
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
Beat all at once until fluffy. Spread between cookies.