Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

I've seen many versions of whoopie pies over the years and intended to make some eventually, but never really had enough motivation to do so until I saw these ones from Matt Lewis of Baked recently. It sounded like the perfect thing for Thanksgiving this year since it's basically like a pumpkin roulade with cream cheese frosting in a different format and you may know that pumpkin roulade is one of my go-to desserts for Thanksgiving.

Whoopie pies are essentially mini cake sandwiches. I found the cake/cookie part tasted best when it was fresh, so I would recommend making them the day you plan to serve them if possible. You can make the filling a day ahead though. I didn't have any problems with this recipe though I did scale back the cloves. I also reduced the amount of frosting since I prefer a smaller amount, but if you like a generous amount of frosting in your whoopie pies, feel free to make the full amount.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Recipe adapted from Matt Lewis of Baked
Makes about 2 dozen whoopie pies

Whoopie cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp coarse salt, half the amount of fine salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1/3 tbsp. ground cloves
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Prepare about 3 baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and the spices together in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and oil until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree, then the eggs and vanilla, whisking until well combined.

Gradually, fold in the flour mixture until incorporated. With a small tbsp. sized ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto your prepared baking sheets, spacing them about an inch apart, and place them in the oven. Bake for 15-18 min, depending on the size of your cookies until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate them halfway through for even baking. Bake the cookies in batches if necessary.

Let the cookies cool completely on the pan before filling.

Cream cheese filling
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
5 oz cream cheese, room temp
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp
pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Sift the powdered sugar and set aside. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, with a hand mixer, or wooden spoon, beat the butter for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Then add the cream cheese and beat for another 1-2 min until well incorporated. Add the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix until combined. Filling may be made a day ahead.

To fill the whoopie cookies, use an ice cream scoop, spoon, or a piping bag to frost the bottom of one whoopie cookie. Then top with another and press together gently. Store in the fridge, covered, for at least 30 min before serving. Whoopie pies will last in the fridge for up to several days or in the freezer for longer.

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