Quick! A whoopie pie!

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Red Hook in Brooklyn is one of New York’s most interesting emerging neighborhoods, and it is also the home of Baked, one of the most popular bakeries in the city’s five boroughs.

Founded in 2001 by Matt Lewis, one of the original owners of Chocolate Bar in New York, and Renato Poliafito, a graphic designer, Baked has risen to national prominence and has recently spawned a branch in Charleston, S.C. “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking,” published a year ago by Stewart Tabori & Chang, was nominated for an International Association of Culinary Professionals cookbook award.

I visited with Mr. Lewis and Mr. Poliafito in early August and was immediately impressed by the friendly simplicity of the salesroom-cafe, with its light-colored horizontal wood paneling and roomy tables. As we talked, I nibbled on a few of their specialties, among them a rosemary apricot shortbread and a chocolate-covered rice cereal bar that ranked among the best things I have ever tasted. We fell to talking about recipes, and both partners recommended a favorite pumpkin whoopie pie as a perfect fall treat.

Whoopie pies are popping up in trendy bakeries and food stores around the country, but unless you’ve spent time in regions where they are traditional treats — in New England or Pennsylvania Amish country — you might never have heard of them. Think of them as sandwiches made with two cakelike cookies and a creamy filling.

Before leaving Baked, I stopped to buy a selection of specialties for a homebound friend I was going to visit later the same day. Opening the box, she sounded a bit like Oprah Winfrey as she exclaimed, “Baked! These are my favorite.”

Pumpkin whoopie pies

This recipe is adapted from “Baked,” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Be sure to chill the pumpkin puree before making the recipe - it makes the dough easier to scoop and results in a perfect domed top on the baked cookies. Makes 12 filled cookies.


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cloves

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