Writing a post about whoopie cookies is no small task, seeing as they are something of a legend. And I don’t know that I’m the best person to write this post, but since I made them this week, I’ll give it a shot.
Note: There will be no whoopie cookie recipe accompanying this post. As the whoopie cookie queen, my mom will have to be the one to share it if she so chooses.
(The final product does include frosting, but I didn’t get a picture the day I made them, and there’s only a few left now.)
Although this will be the sixth Christmas I’ve been married, and whoopie cookies have been made for many more Christmases than that, it’s only the second time I have made them. Sure, I helped with them growing up. Helped, as in tasted the batter and tried the frosting. I did help match up tops and bottoms, too, but as far as actually mixing up the batter or squirting those perfect circles out of the cookie press – no, that I never did. So last year when I decided to make them on my own, there were several phone calls back to mom to make sure I was doing it right. I had the recipe and the cookie press, but the recipe only gave the ingredients, not all mom’s tricks to making the famous Woodby Whoopie Cookie.
Note: The only reason I have a cookie press for these (in a box that has seen much better days) is thanks to Mom scouring the Internet one year and buying up all she could find for the daughters and future daughters-in-law. Not just any cookie press will do!
Anyway, I guess my cookies turned out pretty well last year. It probably helped that no one here had tried my mom’s, so no one was making any comparisons. I took them up to school and passed them out to my fellow English teachers; they were almost all devoured that very day. I emailed one of those teachers the other day letting her know that I’d be bringing cookies again this year; here was her response: “I have to say, I read Whoopie Cookies and then…cheered! Out loud!” I guess they went over okay.
I felt a lot more confident making them this year, although they’re not quite perfect. (Mom’s always looked perfect. To me, at least.) But last year was the trial run, and I learned from my mistakes. The butter needs to be softer (and there’s lots of butter!), the cookies don’t need the full 15 minutes in my oven, and so on. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, these cookies do NOT need to be dipped in chocolate (the hubby’s idea). They are plenty sweet as is.
This year was also different because I had someone watching me. I don’t think my 3-month-old learned much this year, but, hopefully, there will be many years of whoopie cookie making to come. Maybe some Christmas she’ll get her own cookie press and carry on the tradition.
As mentioned above, I will not be sharing the whoopie cookie recipe here. But another cookie I like to make for the holidays is biscotti. I made biscotti the first year we lived here in VA, and it’s a good cookie to make if you are planning to travel. My cookies made it safely back to MI – they are too hard to break or crumble like other cookies. Although a lesson I learned that first year was that a little biscotti goes a long way. I made three different kinds, and there was a ton left over. So one kind (maybe two, if you just can’t decide) is plenty.
This recipe (from Land O’Lakes) is one of my favorites. I like how pretty it looks with the two layers and the two types of drizzle. Happy cookie baking and Merry Christmas!