Good Life

Burkholder's Whoopie Pies

Chocolate and pumpkin whoopie pies from Burkholder's Country Market in Penns Valley.  CDT/Nabil K. Mark
Chocolate and pumpkin whoopie pies from Burkholder's Country Market in Penns Valley. CDT/Nabil K. Mark

It’s 2 in the morning: Time to make the whoopie pies.

That early, the bakery staff at Burkholder’s Country Market in Millheim gets to work on the day’s batch of spongy, cream-filled disks. Their version of the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch and New England treat have become such a local favorite that one former resident now in California has them sent to her.

Bakery Manager Bonnie Auman and her two bakers, Penny Beaton and Debbie Swartz, daily prepare eight to 10 dozen pies — really hamburger-sized cake sandwiches — usually in seven flavors.

Chocolate with white filling sells out the fastest, said Auman.

Also available are pumpkin, chocolate chip, butterscotch, two other chocolate kinds — one with peanut butter filling and the other stuffed with chocolate cream — and oatmeal, which looks like the big brother of a Little Debbie pie.

“You think it’s more healthy, but it’s like the rest,” Auman said.

Probably few biting into the $1.29 desserts worry about calories; it’s too late at that point. The store has been baking them since it opened almost 18 years ago. The chocolate and pumpkin pies come from Burkholder family recipes, as did a vanilla one that was dropped after lackluster sales.

There’s even a strawberry variety, when the fruit is in season. Whatever the flavor, Auman said, the fresh cakes are the key. Beyond that?

“I don’t think I’m going to tell,” she said.

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