Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies — Bake-Ahead Batches

When I first started making cookies, I always baked them one tray at a time in the center of the oven. It certainly drew the process out, but I had found that two trays baked at the same time never produced consistent results.

Baking one sheet at a time was the only way to guarantee perfect treats. This all changed, however, when I got an oven with a convection setting — and it just happens to be ideal for baking these peanut butter whoopie pies.

So what’s the difference? A conventional radiant oven supplies heat from the top and/or the bottom of the oven. Since the heat doesn’t move, the oven tends to have hot and cold spots.

It’s a bad idea to try to bake multiple sheets of cookies in a conventional oven, because one tray won’t have the same exposure to heat as another. Those closest to the heating elements will cook faster than those in the center.

On the convection setting, an internal fan continually circulates the hot air. Since the air all around the food is a consistent temperature, multiple trays of food will cook evenly. Rotating the sheets becomes unnecessary, and all the food bakes up faster and more uniformly.

This recipe is a great excuse to give that convection setting a try. The cakes bake up nicely, even with multiple sheets in the oven at once. A conventional oven will still work great — just bake one sheet at a time.

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Samantha Seneviratne is a New York-based writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She is the author of The New Sugar and Spice (Ten Speed Press), a baking cookbook combining family stories and food history with recipes that reimagine dessert as a more balanced mix of sugar and spice. She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake.

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