HARRISBURG, Pa. — During Pennsylvania Farm Show week, 32 contestants baked fresh whoopie pies and drove them to Harrisburg to enter into the Farm Show’s Greatest Whoopie Pie Contest.

Four judges — James Coen of Pittsburgh, Deb Bender of Harrisburg, Todd Altmyer of Butler County, and Brad Matchett of Virginia. — delicately tasted and compared the flavors and presentation of the whoopie pies, and selected the top winners.

Mary Miller of Indiana County won first place with her chocolate treats. In second place was Bonnie Billet of York County; third place was Sharon Kurtz of Lehigh County; fourth place was Diane Toomey of Lehigh County; and fifth place was Debra Linch of York County.

Following are the top three prize-winning recipes.

Mary Miller’s Chocolate Whoopie Pies (First Place)

  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sour milk
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa in a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the sugar, butter, eggs, milk and water. Combine with previously mixed dry ingredients. Blend well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5-8 minutes. Immediately remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and cool.

Match and pair the cookies. Prepare the filling

Peanut Butter Filling:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Mix all ingredients together and fill the cooled cookies.

Bonnie Billet’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (Second Place)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Use a whisk to combine.

In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar and oil; mix in egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Add pumpkin and blend. Add dry ingredients until combined.

Bake for 11 minutes. Scoop batter onto cookie sheets.

Filling:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

Mix cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and butter until creamy. Pipe a dollop of frosting onto the bottom cookie and place another cookie on top.

Makes 12 servings.

Sharon Kurtz’s Lemon-Blueberry Whoopie Pies (Third Place)

  • 2-1/2 cups flour plus 1 tablespoon flour, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1-1/4 cups blueberries

Heat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together and set aside.

Beat butter, Crisco and sugar on high for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix buttermilk, lemon zest and vanilla extract together.

Alternately, add liquid ingredients and dry ingredients until well-blended.

Place blueberries in a large plastic bag with 1 tablespoon flour and shake until berries are lightly coated with flour. Gently stir berries into batter until blended.

Using a 3.25-ounce cookie scoop, place batter 3 inches apart on prepared baking pans. Add additional blueberries to tops of dough mounds as desired. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until lightly golden brown and they spring back when lightly touched. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

When whoopie pies are cool, place a scoop of filling on the flat side of one whoopie and then top it with the flat side of another whoopie, making a sandwich. Wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap.

Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter until well-blended. Add salt and lemon zest, and mix until well-blended. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix on high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Note: This recipe contains cream cheese and should be refrigerated until ready to serve.

Makes 6 large whoopie pies.LF20200118-whoopie-pie

Lancaster Farming