My mouth has been watering basically since the exact moment on May 24, 2008, when Dayna posted this recipe on her blog. The page has been bookmarked on my toolbar for as long as I can remember. Why haven’t I made these Whoopie Pie confections until now? I have no idea. They are incredible. The spicy ginger and molasses flavors in the cakey cookies are perfectly paired with the sweet orange blossom aroma of the fluffy icing sandwiched in between. This last week was very busy at school; besides all the normal teaching and homework to do, we had to complete a high-stakes standardized state assessment teaching unit deployed by the State of California for all teaching credential students. In the middle of this crazy week was a dearly beloved and inspiring professor’s birthday, and since I wanted to bring her a treat and wanted to give everyone going through such a draining experience, I added baking cookies to my ever expanding To Do List. This happened to be the one thing that I actually wanted to do. So, of course baking took priority over reading and writing and processing, and I jumped at the opportunity to bake this recipe I’d been waiting to try forever. This was truly what I was looking for: something fruity and different, off the radar of traditional birthday baking surprises and a definite pick-me-up for the rest of us.
Notes from baking: My cookies are not as lightly colored as Dayna’s (I think because I used blackstrap molasses), and I added a little extra orange blossom water to pump up the intensity of the flavors. The cookie batter is more like a cake batter than I would have expected, and you definitely have to scoop the batter with a spoon and dollop it onto your pan. After baking, the cookies have a soft pliable consistency, more like a muffin or cupcake-top than I would have expected – but I’ve also never had a real Whoopie Pie and I think this is what it’s supposed to be like. I personally enjoyed the overall fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth experience of eating them!
If you want to pack the cookies and take them anywhere with you: don’t layer the cookies! Or, if you must, put sheets of wax or parchment paper in between the layers, because these cookies get sticky and smushy and while they still taste delicious, their cute sandwich and easy eatability disappears quickly as they turn into one giant cakey-frostingy-decadent mush. That you might have to eat with a fork, instead of your fingers. That certainly didn’t stop us from devouring the cookies quickly, but word to the wise: bring napkins!