Not so long ago, I received an email from a place called Chococoa Baking Company, asking if I'd sample their whoopie pies.
Turns out this retail bakery (with an online and wholesale division) has made quite a name for itself in the North Shore of the greater Boston area, where they've been churning out what they call "the Whoopie"--a mini (3 bite-ish) version of the popular treat that is "A smaller, richer, triple chocolate version of the childhood treat."
Co-owners Alan and Julie have some eclectic inspiration. For Alan, this is the realization of a lifelong dream to develop a snack food. He thanks his two heroes: first his mother, and then...former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan. Of course. As he explains it, "My mother was a great baker and always trying new recipes." As for Mr. Greenspan? He said that you do not need to develop a new product but rather improve an existing one. Nice.
Julie, Chococoa's co-owner, is a Maine native who grew up making whoopie pies with her grandmother and mother; she felt that the classic treat could benefit from a makeover, too.
Sure, I said, and they sent me a sample. But I don't know if they were aware of what exactly awaited their sweet treats when I received them. Because, you see, I like to get to know baked goods before I sample them. So, I unwrapped them and had way more fun with them than I ought to have.
I gave some a healthy snack.
I showed them statues.
They were so happy.
and then I ate them.
Wow, you're thinking, when did this turn into a Whoopie Pie snuff film? No, people. They're just whoopie pies. They're meant to be consumed.
And for sure, these ones were rather tasty. In the parcel, as you've noticed in the pictures, there were several different flavors of filling. I tried ones filled with vanilla cream, salted caramel cream, raspberry cream, and chocolate ganache.
What's clear is that these are a step above your typical ubiquitous whoopie pie, quality-wise--the fillings are on par with the frostings at a high end cupcake shop, and the cake is quite nicely made--very chocolatey, and not crumbly or devoid of flavor like so many whoopie pies can be, in my opinion.
I vote that they are a highly satisfying treat. And proof that sometimes it's great to take some childlike joy in your food, and play with it!
Buy your own whoopie pies to mess with! If you're in Newburyport, visit 50 Water Street, where they have a retail location; or, order online. Here's their website.