If you visit the Wisconsin state fair, there’s one treat that you have to try by the time you leave – the cream puff. Ever had one? The “Original Cream Puff,” as they are called, involves a sandwich of puff pastry, and between the top and bottom is a huge amount of cream. After a dusting of powdered sugar, they’re a hard choice to beat.
Fluffy, air, and fun, it’s no wonder that the Wisconsin State Fair sells around four hundred thousand of these things every year. The recipe came from all the way back in 1922 when a family bakery started making them. Due to the connection the bakery had to the state fair’s committee (Phil Kremer, who ran the bakery, was the son of the state fair’s association’s president) it was an easy addition that people still love.
Washington – Nanaimo Bars
This treat began its life in Canada, but it was popularized thanks to the coffee chain Starbucks, which has its headquarters in Seattle. The company started selling the treat all over the United States (and the world), and thus the Nanaimo bar was spread. This dessert doesn’t require an oven.
And they can be made with nothing more than a bottom layer of butter, cocoa powder, sugar, egg, coconuts, and nuts. Following that, there’s a middle layer of butter, cream, and custard powder, followed by some confectioner’s sugar. The top layer is melted chocolate and butter and spread over the top. Okay, so it’s a little more complicated than some things on this list, but hey, you don’t have to bake it. You do have to chill it, though.
West Virginia – Shoofly Pie
The Pennsylvania Dutch invented Shoofly Pie, but it’s become a hit all over West Virginia. It’s a big mess of molasses, but will also often have flour, brown sugar, water, spices, and even egg. Add in a crumbly, textured topping and a flaky pie crust, and you have something that sounds pretty darn tasty. Even better, it seems like this option isn’t a very hard task.
You have to have a pie, mix the filling (molasses, water, and baking soda), and then pour the crumbly topping over it. The name comes from the fact that sticky, sweet molasses would form on the surface of the pie, obviously attracting insects as well as lots of other kinds of pests. Thus, people who made the pie had to constantly wave those little bugs away.
Wyoming – Cowboy Cookies
Even the desserts from this famously tough state are less sweet than most of the other options you’ll find around the country. Just like the ranch hands that work in the least-populated state in the country, these treats can last a long time and are a lot tougher than they look. It is made of a recipe that contains chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, oats, and cinnamon.
There are plenty of different textures and flavors to keep your mouth busy as you snack on the trail. As for the name, some claim that the recipe originally came from Texas – a place that is heavy with cowboys – while others think it’s because they’re a good option for keeping in your saddlebag while you’re watching the herd, since they last so long without going bad.
Washington D.C. – Cupcakes
Though not a state, the District of Columbia has its own little culture to show off, and the dessert of choice from this small area is the humble, versatile, and delicious cupcake. But, why is Washington D.C. so swept up in cupcake fever? That's a great question, and despite wearing out the soles of our shoes trying to discover the answer, there’s no clear result.
However, nowadays the store known as Georgetown Cupcake has been sending out wonderful treats for a couple of decades, while a slightly older store called Baked and Wired has plenty of fans to call its own. Maybe the treats are so well-liked because they’re so easy to carry with you during your busy day in Washington D.C. Maybe it’s because they’re easy to decorate, and each one can be a little different.