I knew that whoopie pies had made a successful transatlantic journey when they turned up front and center in the showcase of La Grande Epicerie’s pastry department. La Grande Epicerie is to epicures what Disneyland is to kids: heaven. You could call it a supermarket, but you wouldn’t be doing justice to its wine, meat, caviar, seafood, exotic fruit and extensive bread offerings. Or to its fabulous candy section. Or its selection of jams that goes on endlessly. Or its cutting-edge pastry stand. When something shows up there, you know it won’t be long before it will be everywhere. And so it was with Les Whoopies.
Those whoopies—delicate cakes sandwiching thick, creamy fillings— reminded me of dainty Parisian macarons. Unlike so many others I’d seen, which were too large, fat and messy, they were small, elegant, precisely constructed and decorated with sophistication and restraint. Each was finished with a shiny chocolate glaze and some had little spots of color.
Like the whoopies that inspired me, the ones I make look Parisian—fashionably slim and properly glossed—but they cradle an American secret: a peanut butter filling. This is grown-up pleasure and childish delight, all in one package. Not bad for a cake the size of a bonbon.
A note on Whoopie Pie pans: I use a whoopie-pie pan with twenty-four 2-inch-diameter indentations. You can use a pan with differing dimensions, but you may need to use a different amount of batter for each cake and your yield may differ. —Dorie Greenspan