MYA CLARK, 9, OF FREEPORT, won the Freeport Community Library whoopie pie-making contest for the children’s category with her blond blueberry entry. She was up against three other young bakers. DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD

MYA CLARK, 9, OF FREEPORT, won the Freeport Community Library whoopie pie-making contest for the children’s category with her blond blueberry entry. She was up against three other young bakers. DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD

FREEPORT

Is it holding together or crumbling? Is the filling-to-cake ratio right?

These were some of the qualities judges critiqued to select winning whoopie pies — Maine’s signature dessert — in the first ever whoopie pie contest at Freeport Community Library.

Meghan Fogg, the adult programming director, came up with the idea and reached out to confectionery experts.

“Honestly, it was purely selfish,” Fogg said, who noted that a whoopie pie contest would be true to Maine “and would also satisfy my sugar cravings.”

“All of the whoopie pies looked amazing,” said contest judge Shannon Potter of Wicked Whoopies, which sells the treat out of her Freeport and Farmingdale locations. “They all were executed very well. Some were a little lacking on filling, some were a little overcooked, but all in all they were pretty tasty.”

She looked at how the cake held together, how much filling was in the middle, if the cake crumbled when she bit in and how the pie looked overall.

A BATCH OF CLASSIC WHOOPIE PIES await eating at the whoopie pie-making contest at Freeport Community Library on Wednesday. DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD

A BATCH OF CLASSIC WHOOPIE PIES await eating at the whoopie pie-making contest at Freeport Community Library on Wednesday. DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD

Although known as black moons or gobs in some parts of the country, the whoopie pie is closely associated with New England, and is the official state treat of Maine. The dessert features a sweet creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between two dome-shaped, traditionally chocolate, cakes.

“There were a lot of fun flavors and things I wouldn’t have thought of. There were some fruit-filled ones with whole cherries and some had a cold filling and ones that had traditional filling. There were a few zany ones, and that was fun to see,” Potter said.

There were about 20 entries — including four submitted by children. Mya Clark, 9, won in the children’s category for her blond blueberry whoopie pies.

A big fan of the traditional chocolate whoopie pie, she settled on a nontraditional variety that incorporated blueberries — one of Maine’s favorite fruits.

So how did she make the frosting?

“Basically we just took butter at room temperature, we whipped it up with powdered sugar and two caps full of vanilla extract,” she said. “It’s moist because of the blueberry. It was dripping.”

If you didn’t guess, “I bake a lot,” the 9-year-old said. “I’ve been baking as long as I could reach the counter.”

Mary Lehmer, the children’s librarian, had her camera ready to take a photo of the winner for the more competitive contest between the adults. Until she heard her own name called out as the winner for her vegan, gluten-free, chia seed dark chocolate whoopies.

Potter was joined by fellow judge Betty Zolla of Betty ReeZ WhoopieZ , who makes whoopie pies in the kitchen of her Freeport home and sells them wholesale to stores such as Freeport’s Bow Street Market, which also sent an employee to judge.

“It was a lot of fun,” Potter said. “I hope it encourages more people to get out there to try baking if it’s something they haven’t done before.”

She said whoopie pies are unique to this area, and that legend says they originated around the time of the sugar shortage during World War I. She scored one whoopie pie higher because it tasted just like the ones her 82- year-old grandmother makes.

“All of our grandmothers and mothers have a whoopie pie recipe and we had it for special parties and holidays in our youth and it’s a lot of fun to see it continuing and bringing families and communities together.”

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