Mint Basil Whoopie Pies

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Is it OK to post my baking flops on this blog? It is, right? Keeps things real… shows you my experiments… As long as I’m clear I don’t really recommend baking these quite yet (unless you want to play with the recipe–then by all means, go at it and share your results!).

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I mean… These whoopie pies. The idea was there. It’s worth fiddling around with again sometime. And the end result is still completely edible. They just aren’t quite where I wanted them to be, in the end. I wanted them minty and bright and a little herb-y. And they aren’t like that. They’re just very, very sweet. With a kind of eyebrow-raising earthiness in the background.

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Part of the problem might have been that I didn’t really have a lot of mint in my building’s herb garden. I stripped those poor mint plants free of their most of their leaves, feeling a little guilty, but there still wasn’t enough. And I just couldn’t bring myself to use peppermint extract. (Nor could I bring my lazy self to go buy some mint at the store on a Saturday morning.)

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So the flavor wasn’t nearly as minty as I’d wanted–even though I under-did it on the basil, the basil overpowered the mint and left it just very herb-y and earthy. Not necessarily a bad thing (see: Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies), but without something tart or strong to counteract the basil, it’s not as exciting a flavor.

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The next flop is that these guys didn’t poof up! I detailed some ideas for fixing this in the notes of the recipe below, but they were not nearly as cakey and moist and wonderful as the Red Velvet Whoopie Pies I based my experimental recipe on.

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The taste of the cookies isn’t bad, per se–very sweet and laden with brown sugar. But they just don’t live up to the mint basil whoopie pies in my imagination.

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It also probably didn’t help that I made a super-sweet American buttercream (haphazardly colored bright green, because at this point, why not) to go along with it. Maybe if it was a lemon buttercream or a more tart cream cheese frosting, they would’ve been better together.

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Still. They aren’t atrocious. In fact, they’re not even that bad at all. But just wait until I get them past the point of confusingly sweet and earthy, and into superstar fresh mint wow!, and then, then they’ll be worth baking.

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Lavender Earl Grey Pound Cake

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Well. This one was a flop.

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It started out so well. Plenty of dried lavender, mixed with earl grey.

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I made it on Easter Sunday, so I was going for something with a refined tea-time feel.

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I had such high hopes. It smelled amazing–but then it took waaay too long in the oven. And it never did quite cook through. The slices I had were delicious, but you quickly hit raw batter, which was pretty disappointing.

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Luckily, the random might-as-well-make-this-too recipe I whipped together turned out splendidly: Lemon Curd!

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So all was not lost, in the end. If you try this recipe, or have a better tea-infused pound cake recipe, please let me know! I’ve still got a craving… Continue reading