I spoke too soon; I shouldn’t have declared this the Month of the Whoopie Pie without first perfecting the art of whoopie pie making. In other words: I had a bit of a whoopie pie failure yesterday.
By looking at the picture above, you wouldn’t know it. By tasting them, you wouldn’t know it, either.
Then what was the problem?
Well, the problem was ME. Yesterday proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that perfectionism only serves to make your life more difficult and, at times, rather unenjoyable. Everything was going so well; I made the cake portion of the whoopie pies and they emerged from the oven perfectly puffy and smelling like chocolate heaven. I made the filling with butter, marshmallow Fluff (which is far superior to marshmallow creme, by the way) and powdered sugar and then filled my piping bag with the prepared filling, which I placed in the refrigerator to hang out until it was time to assemble the whoopie pies. Everything was going so beautifully.
By the time I was ready for whoopie pie assemblage, the filling had hardened, which made it impossible to squeeze through the piping bag. Undeterred, I grabbed a knife and started smearing, which caused some of the cakes to crumble. “Oh no,” I said…..”the cake is crumbly.” Panicked, I ate half a gigantic whoopie pie for quality control purposes; to assess the crumble factor, and such. And indeed, the cake was crumbly! And messy! And unsuitable for the bake sale table!
If you look closely, you’ll see wayward crumbles on the bottom cake portion of the whoopie pie.
See! I told you. Crumbly! Have you ever seen something so horrible in your life?
I couldn’t bear the thought of people buying my sub-par whoopie pies and having them fall apart into a chocolately crumbly mess in their laps, so I made the executive decision to nix them from my bake sale offerings. I know, I know. I don’t get it either. Please don’t judge me. ;)
And then, in a moment of self doubt, self loathing and ashamed desperation, I ate the other half of my quality control whoopie pie.
And then I threw the others away because I knew I’d end up eating them all and then hate myself even more. I threw them away! Can you believe it? In my defense (it that’s possible) I may have high standards for the food I offer others, but my own personal standards are pretty low, so I knew if I didn’t rid myself of my whoopie pie problem immediately, I would have had one epic whoopie pie eating binge.
Perfectionism: making Alison crazier (and fatter and more wasteful) by the minute.
I know it’s absolutely ridiculous to throw away good food because it wasn’t PERFECT, but…..have we met? I’m kind of neurotic. Gah. I need help.
On the other hand, my other baked offerings were made without incident.
And the ribbon adorned packages looked fetching, too.
I wish, oh how I wish, I wasn’t the way I am. I’m sure people would have liked my whoopie pies just fine, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t stand the fact that they weren’t PERFECT. Also? I wish I could say this was the first time this has happened, but it isn’t. I’ve tossed other baked goods because they didn’t meet my standards a few times in the past. Believe me, I’m not proud of this. I wish I cared less about what people think. I wish I didn’t have such high expectations. I wish I didn’t strive for seemingly unattainable perfection, when I’ve been dealt the mediocre card.
I can assume that deep down, my problem isn’t just crumbly whoopie pies or cookies that spread too much or not enough. I’m not good at much, but I can usually bake, so when things don’t go my way, it’s a big bold reminder of how hard (impossible?) it is to do
everything anything right. All I know is that I have to get my head in the game; I have more whoopie pies to make for next week. This time I’m using a different recipe…..and I won’t refrigerate the filling, which will hopefully yield more desirable results.
I suppose the one good thing about messing up so often is that I genuinely learn from my mistakes.
Here’s hoping for whoopie pie success next week!