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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

One thing that I love about fall is pumpkin. I never realized that canned pumpkin wasn't stocked year round, and I've had a hard time finding it so far this fall. When I did finally find some it was quite expensive. I'm waiting for it to go on sale so that I can stock up. However, I did purchase a few cans of pumpkin in spite of the crazy price. Whoopie pies are a great treat that can be made in so many varieties. Once on vacation, at a flea market/farmer's market, there was a group of Amish people selling more varieties of whoopie pies than I knew existed. I purchased several, and they were probably the best whoopie pies I've ever had. I decided to try my hand at making pumpkin whoopie pies as a birthday treat for a couple of people in my church. They were surprisingly easy to make. Here's a few tips to help make your whoopie pie baking experience successful:1. Leave enough room between cookies on your baking sheet. I had no clue how much they would rise and expand, so I ended up with a few smooshed together a bit.
2. If your filling is runny, let it set in the refrigerator. My whoopie pies were much less runny after sitting in the fridge for a day or two.

These whoopie pies received great reviews from their recipients, as well as from myself and my family, who ate the extras. I would definitely make them again and will definitely experiment with other types of whoopie pies in the future. Try these - you won't be disappointed!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
cookie recipe from Joy of Baking
filling recipe from a family friend

What You Need (cookies)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature {I used margarine.}
2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract, pure if possible
1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree

What To Do (cookies)
~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with the rack in the center of the oven.
~ Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper {or nonstick spray}.
~ In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
~ Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
~ Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
~ Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin.

~ Beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
~ Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. {You could also use an ice cream scoop. I used the Pampered Chef medium scoop and filled it 1 1/2 times per cookie, as I wanted larger whoopie pies and wasn't sure how much they would expand while baking.}
~ With moistened fingers or the back of a spoon, smooth tops of the cookies.
~ Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies spring back when gently pressed. {Note the fingerprints in one of cookies below. Clearly it wasn't done when I pressed it. :)}
~ Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack until cooled completely.

What You Need (filling)
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened {I used margarine.}
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 of a 7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

What To Do (filling)
Cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients until well mixed.

How to Assemble
Spread a heaping tablespoon of filling on one cookie and top with another cookie.

{The filling was a bit runny, but firmed up some after being refrigerated for a day or so.}

 Store covered in refrigerator for several days. {I wrapped mine in plastic wrap, which worked well. An airtight container might also work.}

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