1) To make the cakes: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the shortening, sugar, salt, and vanilla.
2) Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
3) Whisk together the cocoa, flour, Signature Secrets, buttermilk powder, baking powder and baking soda.
4) Add this mixture to the shortening mixture alternately with the milk, beating until everything is well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5) Drop the batter by the scant 1/4 cupful onto the prepared baking sheets, 9 per sheet, leaving about 2" between cakes. A muffin scoop works well here.
6) Bake the cakes in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until they look set and a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and cool on the pans for 5 minutes before moving to racks to cool completely.
7) To make the filling: Combine the meringue powder and cool water in a large bowl. Beat until foamy.
8) Add the sugar and vanilla, and beat until blended.
9) Add the shortening, beating until very fluffy.
10) Spread the flat side of half the cakes with a thick layer of filling. Top with the remaining cakes, flat side down. Wrap well for storage.
Yield: 9 large whoopie pies.