Whoopee (or is it Whoopie) pies – 2020

During this “current unpleasantness,” when we are at home watching all the TV, I got my husband to watch an episode of The Great British Bake Off, Holiday edition, and asked him to create a technical challenge for me. I’m NOT a great technical baker, but I do love to bake. Details, conformity, beauty… not my strong suit. Deliciousness, I can do.

He challenged me to make Whoopee Pies – his mom’s recipe. His dad had shared it with me a few years ago, as I had the thought of creating a photo book of recipe cards (still on my list!), so I was able to find it quickly. Because the crisco/powdered sugar frosting recipe freaked me out a bit, I also found a recipe from Epicurious so we could have a comparison.

Both recipes were fairly simple and made small batches (8 sandwiches apiece – perfect for dropping off with family). I was told that the secret (oops -sharing secrets!) to his mom’s is letting it sit overnight before baking, so I made both batches of dough and put them in the frig until the next day. You can see the differences in the recipes: oil vs butter, white sugar vs brown sugar, milk vs buttermilk. I used the same cocoa in both (Trader Joe’s baking chocolate powder), even though the Epicurious one called for Dutch processed cocoa.

The dough was easy to work with…
They smell delicious!
Chris’s mom’s recipe – you can tell the differences in the BAKING SHEET!

I wondered, to grease the baking sheets or to use parchment paper? I decided to use parchment paper. Unfortunately, one thing I found is that I have awful baking sheets. I take that back, I have one great stone jellyroll pan (which impacts baking time), one okay insulated baking sheet, and a few terrible old baking sheets. I tried to veer away from the stone, but did eventually use it after using a bad sheet resulted in overdone cookies.

Epicurious recipe up front, family recipe in the back…

The frosting recipes were also different – I chose the Epicurious recipe because it used marshmallow creme (I love marshmallow creme). The family recipe was Crisco and powdered sugar. Both recipes made the right amount of frosting. The marshmallow creme frosting was suuuuuper sweet.

Of course, Chris preferred the family recipe although he said the Epicurious was not bad. The family recipe cookies actually were very delicious tasting – the chocolate taste really came through, which I find difficult sometimes with chocolate bakes. And the frosting was not bad, as well. They weren’t uniform in appearance, at all, but they still went together and held the frosting in the middle.

Lessons learned:

  • I need better baking sheets. And maybe a scoop?
  • I struggle with technical baking, making uniform looking goods.
  • Don’t be afraid of Crisco.
  • Don’t mess with family recipes.

What do you think about that?

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