Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

It seems as though the news is filled with nothing but negativity – anger, distrust, fear.  But I have seen kindness.  I have been the recipient of friends’ kindness – these friends who drove my kids at a moment’s notice or made a playlist of songs to remember my uncle or wrote a long, heartfelt, handwritten thank you note.  It reminds me not to allow the negativity to impact me; to make time for others; to show kindness because it does make a difference.  

Elizabeth and I had some girl time and she asked to make some pumpkin bread.  Let’s make pumpkin cake instead (because that involves frosting)!  Oooohhh wait – David and I were at a fun party the other night and the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck (yep, we watch Shark Tank and yep, it was delicious and packed full of lobster meat (although I make a pretty good lobster roll too)) was serving whoopie pies.  Since TBM has already posted a classic whoopie pie, how about we make a pumpkin whoopie pie?  She was game so the research began.  This is the one that made us say “whoopie!!”

Ingredients
Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 Filling
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For pumpkin cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices in a bowl.

Whisk together sugar, oil, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla in a separate large bowl until well combined, then stir in flour mixture.

Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or a 2 tablespoons measuring spoon, drop a scoop's worth of batter onto a lined baking sheet to form 1 mound. This recipe should make at least 32 cookies (or 16 completed sandwiches).  Arrange them 2 inches apart (although they don’t spread out too much).  You should be able to make about 16 cookies per baking sheet.  If there is batter leftover, make more cookies – no one will complain.

Bake until springy to the touch, 12 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookie-cakes to rack to cool.
Form and bake remaining batter on the other parchment-lined sheet.

For filling:
While cookie-cakes are baking, beat cream cheese, butter, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar and bourbon and mix on low speed until smooth.

Chill filling until firm enough to hold its shape when spread, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

To assemble whoopie pies:

Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of filling each on flat side of half the cooled cookie-cakes, then top with other half of cookie-cakes. If necessary, chill whoopie pies just long enough to firm up filling again, about 30 minutes.