Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate Whoopie Pies

I don't know what it is, but I am just not feeling this week's Baked Sunday Mornings assignment, Chocolate Whoopie Pies. I love whoopie pies as much as the next person, but these just did not turn out the way I had hoped.

The first time I made this recipe, it was a total disaster. The first step in the recipe is to dissolve instant espresso powder and cocoa powder in hot water and hot coffee. Then you add brown sugar and vegetable oil, followed by an egg, vanilla, and buttermilk, and then finally the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda). I ended up with so much liquid in comparison to the dry ingredients that my batter was very thin, and there were clumps of flour that I was having difficulty incorporating. I decided to try baking a few cookies anyway, and they ended up very flat.

I tried the recipe again, this time omitting the hot water in the recipe to reduce the amount of liquid. The batter was still quite thin, thinner than I am used to with whoopie pies. To my mind, each half of a whoopie pie should be domed like a little cake, not flat like a cookie. My cookies still ended up flatter than I would have liked, but they had a nice flavor -- richly chocolate, with strong notes of coffee and espresso. The cookies were not as moist or tender as I would have liked; I assume this is related to the fact that they were so flat. I used a #24 scoop and ended up with 32 cookies that were three and a half inches in diameter.

The filling (egg whites, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt) was very rich and creamy, and quite sweet -- the flavor was very close to the filling of an Oreo. I thought it complemented the cookies nicely. I think the majority of the bakers in the Baked Sunday Mornings group had no problem getting nicely domed cookies, so I'll willing to concede that my suboptimal results may be due to baker error. Regardless, I gave the recipe two chances and I think that's enough -- although I enjoyed the red velvet whoopie pie recipe from Baked Explorations, I'm just not a fan of the chocolate version. And since I already have another chocolate whoopie pie recipe that produces wonderful results, I'll stick with that one.

Recipe: "Chocolate Whoopie Pies" from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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Katie said…
Sorry to hear these weren't your favorite. I didn't love mine either. I'm excited to explore your other whoopie pie reciep!
Louise said…
I've never been a fan of whoopie pies of any kind, but I think this week at Magnolia's I saw a cake being assembled from whoopie pie components. At least that's what I thought it was. :-)
That's so odd. It sounds like you followed the recipe exactly. Honestly, I like the look of your pies better than mine. I like the flatter, smoother look instead of the domed, chunky, bumpy look. This recipe was just okay for me. But I think yours turned out so pretty!
Sheri said…
I have to agree - I liked the red velvet whoopies better, even though I'm usually not partial to red velvet. I think your pies look great!

I had the same issue with thin, lumpy batter. As it sat out, it got thicker and they looked better towards the last batch.
Kris' Kitchen said…
Sorry these did not work out for you...funny how things happen. My cookies were not what I would call small but I got 48 sandwiches. They were really good...I love the cookie part, but I did not like this filling with them. I do love this buttercream is wonderful, but not with these is too all tasted like butter and not like chocolate.
Susan said…
Funny - even though I've never has Whoopie Pies before, I didn't have any trouble with the batter like many others did. Sometimes, their directions aren't as clear as they could be.

I'm sure yours tasted great all the same. And they look good. I haven't tried the Red Velvet ones yet.
Rebecca said…
Sorry these didn't turn out for you. I think they look really nice (and easier to eat than my giant domed ones!).
Bourbonnatrix said…
Yeah, the batter behaved weirdly for me too! I have to try the red velvet ones! Hope the next recipe turns out better for you!