It’s pretty hard to claim that you’ve created a completely new, from-scratch recipe and make the claim stick. Very good chance that someone else has also come up with your “original” recipe. Or one that’s quite close.
It sort of makes sense. We share such common cultural influences. Our taste preferences subtly dominate us even if we aren’t thinking about them. We have access to many of the same ingredients. Our bodies make their demands for certain tastes and combinations of elements. And all of that figures into what we cook and produce and what we think tastes good.
Of course, I’m talking about similarities in basic recipes here and not just the particular twists and additions that set your baked beans apart. We all do our own variations of “standard” recipes. But create a brand-new, never-before-put-together dish that’s edible? I’m guessing not too likely.
Meanwhile, we’ve still got a rumble going here in Lancaster, PA, about the state of Maine’s bold claim that they created whoopie pies. I mean, how could you refute this portrait of William Penn (above), caught just before he bit into his whoopie pie?
Thanks to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society who turned this up when they launched some light research onto Maine’s effort to unseat the Lancaster community as the place where whoopie pies first came to be!
And here’s another great whoopie pie recipe. Your kids will enjoy helping to bake the cookie parts. And they’ll absolutely love smearing on the filling and making the cookie sandwich.
Oatmeal Whoopie Pies
from Lancaster County Cookbook, page 175
Makes about 2 dozen cookie sandwiches
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 10-15 minutes per baking sheet
2 cups brown sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups uncooked quick, or old-fashioned, oatmeal
2 tsp. baking soda
3 Tbsp. boiling water
4 Tbsp. flour
4 Tbsp. milk
2 egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
1. To prepare cookies, cream together brown sugar, butter, and eggs in a large mixer bowl.
2. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in another bowl.
3. Combine dry ingredients with creamed ingredients. Mix well.
4. Add cinnamon and oats.
5. In a small mixing bowl, dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Add to batter and mix in well.
6. Drop batter by large teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, allowing at least an inch between cookies.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, prepare filling by combining all filling ingredients except powdered sugar in a mixer bowl. Beat until smooth and creamy.
9. Gradually add powdered sugar until fully incorporated.
10. Make cookie sandwiches by spreading filling over flat bottom of one cookie. Top with another cookie. Continue until all cookies and filling have been used.