Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

I really love pumpkin.  And I really love whoopie pies.  So of course, we have to combine them, right?

Making the cookie part of these, to me, is like making a pumpkin pie.  It’s got a lot of the spices that make pumpkin pies smell so good.  It’s just sort of like pumpkin pie…but in cake form.  They’re a little more involved to make than pumpkin pies, but not much.  Mostly it’s a lot of adding things all into the same bowl (ok, two bowls…whatever).

And these have the added bonus of an incredibly tasty cream cheese filling that will knock your socks off.

I actually don’t know what “knock your socks off” means.  I mean, I know what it’s supposed to imply, but it’s just a weird phrase.  Nothing, ever, has ever come close to actually knocking my socks off.  My hat, sure.  And I’ve had teeth knocked out.  But socks?  They hang in there pretty well.

Anyway, that was a stupid train of thought tangent…now on to whoopie pies!

Ingredients

Whoopie Pie

·        2 cups dark brown sugar

·        1 cup vegetable oil

·        1 ½ cups canned pumpkin (like Libby’s)

·        2 t vanilla

·        2 eggs, brought to room temperature

·        3 cups flour

·        1 t baking soda

·        1 t baking powder

·        1 t salt

·        1 ½ t allspice

·        1 t cinnamon

·        1 t ground ginger

·        ½ t nutmeg

Cream Cheese Filling

·        1 cup butter

·        8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature

·        4 cups powdered sugar

·        2 T heavy whipping cream

·        2 t vanilla


Directions

We’ll start with the cookie part first.

In a bowl, add the brown sugar, vegetable oil, pumpkin and vanilla.  Mix with your hand mixer until well combined.  Next add in the two eggs and beat again until everything is well combined, and set that bowl to the side.

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In a second bowl, add the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg.  Whisk together until everything is, again, well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the brown sugar mixture.  Mix with a wooden spoon a little so that a lot of the dry ingredients are moister and won’t go flying everywhere when you mix them because, yup, you now need to mix them with your hand mixer until everything is combined.

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On a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, drop the dough into tablespoon-sized mounds, leaving some room between them because they will spread.  While you’re doing this, try to keep each mound about the same size because you’re going to be pairing them when you’re done to make the whoopie pie sandwich.

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Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are a little brown at the edges and soft but not liquidy on top.  If you push slightly, the cake should spring back and if you put in a toothpick it should come out clean.

Leave on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling you can make the filling.  For this, we’re going to brown some butter because it adds a nice little kick of flavor to everything.

Put the butter into a small sauce pan and heat on low until it’s mostly melted.  Then, turn the heat up to medium and bring it to a boil, stirring continuously.  Keep stirring until the butter turns a nice brown color.  It’s ok if little brown bits develop while you’re doing this – it adds to the flavor and gives the finished product an interesting look.

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Take the butter off the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.  Then, fill another bowl with ice and place the sauce pan on top of the ice.  Basically, you’re cooling the butter and hardening it a bit.  It should be soft, not liquid – basically, you’re bringing the butter to room temperature.

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When the butter is ready, place the butter and the cream cheese into a bowl and mix until well combined.  Next, add in the powdered sugar and mix that until that’s well combined (like you’re doing with the dry ingredients above, you probably want to mix it a bit with a wooden spoon before you drop the hand mixer in there and have powdered sugar flying everywhere).

Finally, add the vanilla and heavy whipping cream and beat until everything is mixed well.

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Pour the filling into a piping bag or, if you don’t have one, a gallon-sized sandwich bag where you snip off the corner after you fill it.  Pipe the filling onto the flat side of one of the cookies and take a second cookie that’s about the same size and make a sandwich out of it.

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These will definitely be a hit – they’re fairly simple to make but really have a lot of flavors that people associate with fall.  Expect that people will want you to make them over and over again.

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