Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

It is my favorite time of year which means it is also pumpkin time. Oh yeah! Some of you may not know but I'm a Thanksgiving Day baby. I like to call myself a pumpkin freak! Love trying all things pumpkinPumpkin cupcakes (which I had my first of the season last Friday and it was not the best I've had - I don't want to talk bad about the bakery - let's just say it was not Gigi's) pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin bread, pumpkin coffee creamer, pumpkin latte, pumpkin ice cream (yes I said ice cream - the best I've scooped is pumpkin cheesecake by my BFFs Ben and Jerry), pumpkin butter, pumpkin muffins, and of course pumpkin PIE! Do I sound like the guy in Forrest Gump? I thought so too. By the way does everyone consider Ben and Jerry their best friends forever? I'm a social worker so they are fun guys to hang out with sometimes.

Anyway now I can say I've had pumpkin whoopie pies!!! These little guys are catching on in popularity these days. And they are surprisingly easy to bake. I found the recipe on the browneyedbaker blog. Yes, this time I made sure the cream cheese AND butter were room temperature. Man was that nice. Something so simple really makes a difference. No real complications with baking today. The only thing I will say is that I had filling left over which could be because of two things I'm guessing. 1. I made my whoopie pies too big. Hmm..imagine that. The recipe yields 4 dozen assembled pies and I ended up with 2 dozen. Some are small..I promise. It is kind of like that question "how many licks does it take to eat a tootsie roll pop?". Well I wanted a lot of bites to eat my whoopie pie! 2. I used 2 tablespoons of Publix brand Original syrup and the recipe calls for pure maple syrup. I'm guessing the consistency of Publix syrup while good on pancakes is too thin for icing. Next time I plan to stick to the recipe when it calls for PURE maple syrup. I'm thinking the maple flavor would be more obvious too. I think they still taste good but I'll try anything with pumpkin so I may be a bit biased. Just a bit though!

First time freezing cream cheese icing, pumpkin purée, and 2 whoopie pies. I pray they all fare well. Before you go trying to claim the 2 whoopie pies - they are for my small group girl who is on the Daniel fast in preparation for her mission trip to Cambodia. Hence I'm praying they freeze well so she can enjoy them after the fast.

Two of my neighbors and my small group girls were lucky enough to try these jokers. One of my small group girls said "I think my roommate is going to come to Jesus through your cupcakes". I hope she likes whoopie pies too! The rest of the pies will be shared with my coworkers and momma.

Happy Fall Y'all!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling
Yield: About 4 dozen assembled whoopie pies (will vary depending on how large you make them)
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 10 to 12 minutes
For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Maple-Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
5. Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.
7. To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.
8. To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.

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