Back in 2003 I went on a car trip in CA with my newish boyfriend, the tallasiandude. We had a really good time (nudge nudge wink wink) driving up Highway 1 and stopping every half hour to do something or other.

One of the stops was in Solvang, a bizarro tourist-trap town billing itself as a bit of Denmark in southern California. We stepped into a bakery and for some reason I was entranced by these simple-looking cookies. Little nondescript beige logs with an appealing crackly surface. I bought them even though they were some form of marzipan cookie — normally I hate marzipan or anything almond flavored besides almonds — because I was so entranced by them.

These were the most delicious cookie I had ever had, right there in that moment. No idea why. Still not especially fond of almond-flavoring, but with the memory of those cookies in mind, I tried a few almond-flavored things in Sweden last year and they were all delicious, so I decided to trust the Scandinavians in general on this topic.

Ever since that trip in 2003 I had been trying to find a recipe for those cookies on the internet. Of course I’d instantly forgotten what they were called, which hindered the search considerably.

But somehow or other, a few weeks ago I stuffed the right terms into the search and this recipe came up. Shazam! That looked like my cookie!

I resolved to try it. It even called for the very same brand of almond paste I had brought back from Sweden.

Today I made them, and I was right — same cookie. Crunchy chewy crackly outer layer, sticky marzipan innards. DELICIOUS! They stick to the parchment like a motherfucker, so next time around I think I will butter the paper. I wonder if I can source Odense almond paste anywhere closer than Sweden?

whoopie pies

Haven’t made these yet, but I need to type the recipe up somewhere. From the Penzey’s catalog.

1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 stick butter, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two large cookie sheets, set aside. In large bowl, beat the egg and oil. Gradually add the sugar and keep beating till pale yellow. In another bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and vanilla. While mixing, alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the egg and sugar, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Drop the batter by tablespoons onto cookie sheets. These will spread a lot, so make 6 cookies per sheet at a time. Bake 8-10 mins until the top springs back when lightly touched. Remove to wire racks to cool. When cool, spread filling between two cookies to make sammiches.

For the filling, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat until light and fluffy.