Household/Food Military Martha

50 States 50 Recipes Pennsylvania

Sorry this is so late… the Martha household has been a bit crazy the last week or so- but enjoy!

Our next stop on the 50 states, 50 recipes tour is;


State capital: Harrisburg

Largest City: Philadelphia

Admission to the Union: December 12, 1787 second state to join the union


In his book Yo Mama Cooks Like a Yankee, author Sharon Hernes Silverman calls Pennsylvania the snack food capital of the world.[108] It leads all other states in the manufacture of pretzels and potato chips. The Sturgis Pretzel House introduced the pretzel to America, and companies like Anderson Bakery Company, Intercourse Pretzel Factory, and Snyder’s of Hanover are leading manufacturers in the Commonwealth. Two of the three companies that define the U.S. potato chip industry are based in Pennsylvania: Utz Quality Foods, Inc., which started making chips in Hanover, Pennsylvania in 1921, and Wise Snack Foods which started making chips in Berwick in 1921 (the third, Lay’s Potato Chips, is a Texas company). Other companies such as Herr Foods, Martin’s Potato Chips, Snyder’s of Berlin (not associated with Snyder’s of Hanover) and Troyer Farms Potato Products are popular chip manufacturers. (

In my research on the state of Pennsylvania, like many other states, I found that tourism is especially important and food plays a big part in that;

Okay, so many of you are probably thinking… Military Martha- Pennsylvania is known for Philly  Cheese Steak, what is this Whoopie Pies  you’re giving us this time?  Well to be honest I read the history of Whoopie Pies online and fell in love with the idea of something so regional, I couldn’t resist.  Now there is an argument about who actually invented the Whoopie Pie- New England or Pennsylvania itself, I won’t get in the middle of that dog fight.  Needless to say this website gives you all the history of Whoopie Pies you’ll ever need to know… so go visit it!

New England Whoopie Pie Recipe

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Whoopie Pie Filling (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together shortening, sugar, and egg. In another bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl, stir the vanilla extract into the milk. Add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture, alternating with the milk mixture; beating until smooth.

Drop batter by the 1/4 cup (to make 18 cakes) onto prepared baking sheets. With the back of a spoon spread batter into 4-inch circles, leaving approximately 2 inches between each cake.

Bake 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Make Whoopie Pie Filling. When the cakes are completely cool, spread the flat side (bottom) of one chocolate cake with a generous amount of filling. Top with another cake, pressing down gently to distribute the filling evenly. Repeat with all cookies to make 9 pies. Let finished whoopie pies completely cool before wrapping.

Wrap whoopie pies individually in plastic wrap, or place them in a single layer on a platter (do not stack them, as they tend to stick). To freeze, wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap. Loosely pack them in a plastic freezer container and cover. To serve, defrost the wrapped whoopie pies in the refrigerator. Makes 9 large whoopie pies.

Whoopie Pie Filling:
Some people prefer just using the Marshmallow Fluff right out of the jar and not making the below filling. Your choice.

1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups Marshmallow Fluff**
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Butter may be substituted for all or part of the vegetable shortening, although traditional Whoopie Pies are made with vegetable shortening only ** Marshmallow Creme may be substituted.

In a medium bowl, beat together shortening, sugar, and Marshmallow fluff; stir in vanilla extract until well blended.

Ingredients for whoopie pies, mix butter and sugar, add dry ingredients

add milk and vanilla, mix batter until smooth, place on cookie sheets

mix marshmallow cream, add to cookies to make sandwiches


This recipe was so easy to prepare.  It took basically 3 bowls, a cookie sheet and a wire rack to make.  The one thing I do long for when I make something like this is a stand mixer- something along the lines of a Kitchen Aid in a cute color!  But since I don’t have one, then a regular hand mixer works.  I chose to use parchment paper instead of greasing the cookie sheets, less fat, less mess- but greasing the cookie sheets works just as well.


The ingredients were all found at my local grocery store. I had to purchase the Marshmallow fluff and unsweetened cocoa.  When the batter is mixed the cookie part isn’t very sweet or tasty- so be warned!


It took longer to mix together than it did to actually bake.  The cookies also took very little time to cool on the wire rack.  I didn’t have to worry about wrapping or freezing any of them, they were gone within a few hours!  The guys at the fire department loved them, and described them as a very large Oreo.

Review: scale of 1-5 stars; the more stars the better

Ease of preparation: ***** very easy, so easy you’ll want to make them again and again

Cost of ingredients: ***** so cheap and most of the ingredients were already in the cupboard

Taste: *****  The guys at the Fire Department LOVED these and even said they were their favorite recipe thus far

Nutrition: ** something delicious to be eaten in moderation, but too tasty to pass up

I was surprised at how big each cookie is, and really two people could eat one of these easily.  The cookie batter, which I always enjoy eating from the bowl wasn’t too tasty, but the end result was delicious!  I didn’t get a chance to enjoy one myself, but they were described to me as a homemade version of an Oreo cookie.   Not that the guys at the fire department are picky eaters, but this recipe got the most raves in review!  So until next week when we hit Delaware, may all your journeys be safe and your eats be good!


5 thoughts on “50 States 50 Recipes Pennsylvania”

    1. I had never had one until I tried this recipe… and I think they’re a bit like moon pies – if you coated them in chocolate they’d be similar!
      And I think we’ve started something… I just noticed that Whoopie Pies are a top search being searched through Yahoo!

  1. Thanks for the warning about the batter not being very sweet; I would have wondered if I’d done something wrong. And, thanks for letting us know that these freeze and thaw well.

    I’ve never made Whoopie Pies. I’ll save this recipe for use the next time I’m going to a pot-luck or games-and-snacks night, because it sounds like a yummy dessert that we can eat with our fingers as we mingle.

    Thank you, Military Martha!

  2. You didn’t even mention Hershey which is probably one of the best know snack/chocolate companies in the world!

    I am a bit disappointed though that you featured a New Engalnd Whoopie pie recipe as PA isn’t really considered a part of New England. I know there is a PA Whoopie Pie recipe that far outdoes any New England recipe 🙂

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