Editor’s Note: The recipe for “whoopie pies” in last week’s Tri-County Sunday brought a quick response from one faithful reader. Since I’ve never made a gob in my life, I’m bowing to the expert and her Mother’s delicious recipe. Thanks Beth for taking the time to set us straight on gobs!
My normal mellow, languid and cherished afternoon time with the Tri-County Sunday is ruined. It is a pile of smoldering rubble, now that I’ve reached page D2 in the Your Life section (6-17-18).
Seriously, a recipe for whoopie pies (a wholly inaccurate one, by the way) featured in a west-central Pennsylvania newspaper?
Here in soft-coal country, the divinely delicious treats are GOBS.
A whoopie pie is a vile concoction of tasteless, elastic marshmallow filling sandwiched between graham crackers, then dunked in an oily brown liquid that stretches the definition of “chocolate.”
A gob is composed of two “cookie-shaped” discs made by adding a small amount of flour to a chocolate cake mix.
The cake mix is prepared according to the manufacturer’s instruction, the extra flour incorporated, then the batter is dropped by spoonfuls on to a cookie sheet and baked.
The ideal cake “cookies” are moist, firm (but not too firm) and light without being crumbly. The size of one’s palm is a good guide for gob circumference.
A CAKE MIX, not this mess that calls for buttermilk and brown sugar, for crying out loud!
The abomination the recipe touts as “filling” also plays fast and loose with proper west central Pa. culinary definitions.
True gob filling is a cooked mixture of milk, flour, powdered sugar, butter and Crisco. It is fluffy and sublime and heals all spiritual trauma.
Another sinister filling trend substitutes white cake icing, which is almost as bad as the glop you’re pushing.
If you are truly dedicated to accuracy and integrity, I will happily forward my mother’s gob recipe. My mother, the late Irene Thompson Fulesday, just so you know the source is impeccable, made Martha Stewart look like a schmo.
Please correct this ugly stain on our region’s culinary identity. Thank you.
Beth Fulesday Hallstrom, Clearfield
The Thompson Family Gob Recipe
Cake: add 1 cup flour to a plain chocolate cake mix. Devil’s Food is preferred, but any chocolate flavor will do.
Prepare the cake mix with the extra flour according to the directions.
Drop uniform dollops of cake mix on an ungreased cookie sheet. Parchment works well, too.
You decide how big your gobs will be.
Bake at 400 degrees. Forgive me for not including a baking time; my Mom always said, “Bake ‘em until they’re done.” Probably around 8-10 minutes, depending on the size. They should be firm and springy, just like a cake, but moist and not crumbly.
Cool on racks until you’re ready to assemble them.
Filling: Cook 5 tablespoons of flour with 1 cup of milk (whole milk is best, but, your choice) until mixture is thick. Cool.
Gradually cream into flour/milk mixture 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup Crisco and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Chill the filling to make it easier to handle.
Assembly: Spread the desired amount of filling on the bottom side of a cake disc. Top with a second disc, top side up.
Traditionally, gobs are individually wrapped in plastic wrap with the ends twisted. Or, store as you would any cake.
I’ve never experienced leftovers, so I don’t know how long they remain fresh or how they should be stored long-term.
Last step: Revel in the sublime joy that is a properly-made gob. Typically, consuming a gob will induce bliss, nirvana or a religious experience, so don’t eat while driving.
Variations for the deeply disturbed who dislike chocolate are pretty much any flavor of cake mix. A giant gob cake is nice, too, when you’re pressed for time. Just remember to add the extra 1 cup of flour.