pumpkin whoopie pies
October 26, 2012 § 5 Comments
Last night the Santa Ana winds began terrorizing us, waking me up in the wee hours of the morning because I was convinced the tapping noise on the window was either a burglar or a ghost (I was leaning more toward ghost). And if the leaves and other debris floating around in the air weren’t enough, making a mess of the neighborhood and our allergies, the fact that my skin is so dry I’m afraid I’ll turn to ash if I bump into anything has made it official: fall is here. The wind is usually the first indication of the season for us in these parts. Nothing says fall, to me personally, like reptile skin.*
Now that fall is finally underway, pumpkin treats finally feel legit to me – though I must confess that pumpkin almost seems played out at this point. What is happening to me? It’s not even November. Have all these years of being exposed to rampant commercialism tricked my mentality into automatically syncing with giant retailers, in which case Halloween is so yesterday even though it hasn’t happened yet and Christmas should now be our focus even though it’s two months away, skipping Thanksgiving entirely? I hope not. A trip to Target last night almost convinced me, though. Therefore, I think I’ll just try and cling to pumpkin for all it’s worth, for as long as possible.
I say every year that I don’t have a favorite when it comes to the pumpkin recipes I post, but really, I do kind of save the best for last. These whoopie pies are beyond good. They are light and moist, but sturdy and hearty at the same time. Whoopie pies are technically considered cookies, but I’m sure we all know they’re really little handheld cakes (nothing to do with pie!), and these in particular are filled with a cream cheese frosting that has been spiked with cinnamon. They were hands-down my favorite recipe this week, and I bet they’ll be yours, too. Mine have been placed in sturdy plastic bags (along with most of the other pumpkin recipes I made) and stashed in the freezer for the sake of my backside in an attempt to make them last longer. Though you know what? I discovered this morning that they’re just as good eaten frozen, with a cup of tea, as they are when they’re fresh. This could be a problem, but it’s a good problem to have.
*A few years ago, Jade and I were laying down, napping, when she began rubbing her leg on my foot. Thinking it was kind of strange, I shrugged, and closed my eyes again. Eventually curiosity got the best of me and I asked what she was doing. “Scratching,” she replied. Sigh.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
*I made a half batch. Full recipe listed below makes 24 pies.
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons molasses
Preheat oven to 350º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together dry ingredients.
Beat together wet ingredients. Add flour mixture to wet mixture; mix just until combined.
Using a piping bag with a large round tip, pipe 2″ circles onto baking sheets 1 1/2″ apart. Use a knife or offset spatula to smooth batter.
Bake 18-2o minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool on pan. While cookies cool, make the filling (below).
Spread (or pipe) prepared filling onto the flat sides of half of the cookies. Top with another cookie to make a sandwich.
For the filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean, optional
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Beat together the cream cheese and butter until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the sugar, and mix well. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix, adding more as needed, until a thick but spreadable frosting is achieved.
* * *
Recipe adapted from One Girl Cookies.