Whoopie Pies are a phenomenon I failed to partake in before going gluten free. Growing up in the South and Midwest, I had never really seen the dessert until I toured the northeastern part of the country on a college tour. Now unable to eat the wheat and cream versions beckoning from pastry counters, I figured that the cookie sandwiches would be something I would have to leave behind.
As luck would have it, an answer to my gluten and dairy free whoopie pie prayers came at the vendor expo at the 2014 Gluten-Free Living Conference in Orlando earlier this month. Not to be missed in their signature purple, the Piping Gourmets brought the treats back in a big way as they introduced attendees to their delicious line of gluten-free whoopie pies.
What was so awesome about their showing at the GFL conference, was that they were generous and genuinely excited about sharing their whoopie pies. I can only imagine how many whoopie pies they went through over the course of the two-day event because I never saw their booth without a crowd around it eagerly scooping up samples of the sweet treats. Add in to that they are made by two women entrepreneurs from the sunshine state, and you just cannot turn down one of these treats.
What’s also so great about the Piping Gourmet’s concoctions is that they really take the time to create a quality product. They are certified gluten free by the Gluten Free Certification Organization, as also meet the qualifications to be Kosher-Pareve and vegan. The pies easily fit into many special diets because in addition to gluten, they are free from eggs, dairy, nuts, trans fats, hydrogenated oil, GMOs, and artificial colors and preservatives. For a full listing of their ingredients, follow this link and click on the box of the desired flavor you want to know about.
Their full line includes two different cake flavors and multiple “cream” fillings. Currently they offer the vanilla cake pies with either vanilla or lemon frosting and the chocolate with vanilla, mint, chocolate, or raspberry frosting. They are available at all Whole Foods Market locations in Florida as well as a few specialty stores, but for Central Floridians, Whole Foods Market is the only place we can pick up these treats (for now). For this review, I chose to check out a couple different flavor to investigate.
First up came the chocolate mint flavor which features a layer of mint icing sandwiched between two pillowy chocolate cookies. The texture of the cookies reminded me of chocolate cake, which was a new taste for me since I usually stick with vanilla baked goods. I loved the rich, dark flavor which was only heightened by the mint filling which was more icing-like rather than marshmallow-y or runny. I liked the texture of it between the cookies because it perfectly balanced the cake-like texture of the cookies. The size of the whoopie pie is the perfect size for an afternoon snack or dessert because it left me with my sweet tooth satisfied but not in the sugar coma that sugar-sweetened desserts usually leave me in.
Next up for my trial run was the vanilla vanilla flavor which as the name might suggest, features two vanilla cookies with vanilla icing in between. The vanilla cookies were a bit denser than the chocolate ones, but this was not necessarily a bad thing because the stickiness of the chocolate coated my fingers and kind of made a mess. However, they did shed more crumbs. I liked the icing the best because it was sweet and very vanilla-y, but the cookies did not support the icing as well as they did in the chocolate mint pie. They didn’t contrast with the icing flavor which I think might have been the issue for me. Though I didn’t pick up a box to sample, I would guess that the chocolate chocolate variety might have the same problem, but having not tried them, I can’t make a fair assessment. One positive point with this flavor is that it also did not leave me in a sugar coma after eating it.
Next up on the taste test was the vanilla lemon flavor featuring vanilla cookies with a lemony icing. I loved the light and springy melding of the flavors and imagined these as the ultimate tea party treat. Like the vanilla vanilla flavor, I found the cookies to be “crumb-y” but less than my vanilla pie. The lemon icing was delicate and had a soft citrus flavoring that allowed it to be comforting instead of pucker-inducing. If my taste-buds remember accurately, I would liken them to a lemonade girl scout cookie, but these are far better in my opinion thanks to the pillow-like texture of the cookies. I definitely think that the flavor contrast made the pie more distinctive.
Wrapping up, I have definitely jumped onto the the whoopie pie bandwagon thanks to the awesome women behind The Piping Gourmets and their crazy good pies. Though this review covers half of their current offerings I hope to eat my way through their whole line before too long. I’m keeping my eyes peeled especially for their chocolate raspberry flavor which has eluded me since the GFL convention. No matter the flavor though, you can count on their cheerful purple boxes to brighten your day and add a taste of indulgence.
For more information about the Piping Gourmets, click here.
To locate stores that stock whoopie pies, click here.