In the interest of being totally and completely honest, I’m about to post a recipe I’m not in love with. If there were some ominous watchful eye that would strike down anyone that tried to modify recipes from the original, I would not be making these again. They’re not worth being stuck down, that’s for sure!
Since that is clearly not the case, I’m blogging this recipe for two reasons. 1. Others might like it. Just because I don’t love it, doesn’t mean others feel the same way. And 2. I do believe certain modification could improve the final result.
The recipe: Banana Whoopie Pies. The reason I don’t love them: Well, the texture and the flavor to start out. Hm. Isn’t that what food is? Texture and flavor?
Let’s start with the flavor. Holy Rot Your Teeth Out, Batman! These are insanely sweet. Between the cookie part, the chocolate chips, the nuts and the filling, it’s just too rich for my blood. A little TOO delightful. TOO much of a good thing. I used my tablespoon cookie scoop to shape the pies and found even that size to be far too large. I could hardly finish one they were so rich. And the recipe suggests using a large scoop for the pies – whoa. I can’t even imagine.
And the texture. Now, I’ve never made or had a whoopie pie before so I’m not sure what I was expecting. I guess something a bit more cakey? Lighter than a cookie maybe? Obviously, I have no idea what I’m talking about. These were pretty dense and chewy – like making a frosting sandwich out of banana bread. The recipe calls for two cups of either whole wheat, white whole wheat or all-purpose flour. I used one cup whole wheat and one cup all purpose so I’m sure that attributed to the textural properties of the cookie as whole wheat flour does tend to make things denser. Then with the huge chocolate chips and the nuts, I just couldn’t fall in love with the final product. It was all too much.
Improvements. I think they can be made here. First, I’d nix the whole wheat flour. Maybe whole wheat flour and whoopie pies aren’t meant to be friends. That’s okay. A whoopie pie isn’t supposed to be a shining beacon of nutritional merit anyway.
Second, I’d cut back significantly on the amount of chocolate and use mini-chips instead. I think minis would disperse more evenly throughout the batter and provide just a hint of chocolate –not overpowering chunks. I’d probably eliminate the walnuts too. I’ve never been huge fan of walnuts, but I thought I’d give it a try and see if I’ve changed my mind.
Upon further review, the answer is no. I have not changed my mind.
Walnuts, meet Cilantro. You two go stand over there and don’t touch any of the other foodstuffs. Thanks.
If you decide to give these a try, let me know! I’d be curious to see what others think. If you make any other changes, I’d like to hear about those too! One of these days, I’ll try these again with the changes I mentioned, but not today. I just can’t eat anymore whoopie pies. For now.
So there here it is, without further ado: A Recipe I Don’t Love.
But you might love it. You’ll have to let me know if I’m the crazy one! It’s entirely possible. Oh yes.
BANANA WHOOPIE PIES (Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour)
For the Cookies:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups (3 medium to large) mashed bananas
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour, white whole wheat or all-purpose
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
For the Filling:
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk as needed
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional) – I omitted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, and salt until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the bananas. Beat until mixture looks curdled. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Whisk together the flour and baking soda; add to the banana mixture, mixing until evenly combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then mix for 1 minute more. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
- Scoop the dough by the quarter cup for large cookies, and by the tablespoon for small cookies. Allow plenty of space between them.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched with your finger, and the edges are a very light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a rack to finish cooling completely before filling.
- To make the filling: Beat together the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add just enough milk to make the mixture a spreadable consistency. Stir in the walnuts (if using).
- Spread the bottom of one of the cookies with the filling. Place another cookie on top of the filling, bottom side down. Press until the filling just reaches the edges. Makes 10 large or 20 small whoopie pies.