Mint Basil Whoopie Pies


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!).


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.


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.)

IMG_3594 IMG_3596

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.

IMG_3599 IMG_3605

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.


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.


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.


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.


Continue reading

Lavender Earl Grey Pound Cake


Well. This one was a flop.


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


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


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.


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


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