Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

This year for Thanksgiving we decided NOT to have pumpkin pie.  SHOCKING!  How can you have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?

Settle down.  The world is not ending.  Truth be told I am not a fan of pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin pie is okay, but in my opinion is much over-rated.  I love the flavors of pumpkin pie, but not the mushy soggy texture.  That's where these little beauties come in.  They have all the flavor of pumpkin pie (and then some) but not the nasty texture.

As my "daughter" Mary put it, if a cookie and a cupcake had a love child it would be the whoopie pie.  Delectable little discs of fluffy pumpkin spice cake filled with tangy cream cheese icing.  They are meant to be hand held and they literally flew off the plate when I served them this year.  I think these are the perfect substitute for pumpkin pie for all you out there who, like me, dread having to eat the obligatory no-thank-you-helping of pumpkin pie.

These are really easy to prepare, especially if you bake them on parchment paper which ensures they will not stick to the cookie sheet and makes clean-up a snap (simply roll up the parchment paper and throw away).

I use my white chocolate cream cheese icing as a filling since it is just barely sweet, and is fluffy, but sets up firm enough not to squirt all over your face on the first bite.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
makes about 3 dozen

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl combine brown sugar, vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla.  Mix with a whisk until very well-mixed and smooth.

In a separate bowl combine remaining dry ingredients and whisk until well-combined.

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix, by hand until well mixed.  Do not over mix.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Drop batter onto parchment in heaping teaspoons, trying to keep drops as round as possible.

Bake 10-12 minutes until puffed and set.  Cool on wire rack.

Store in an airtight container, separating layers with wax paper, until ready to fill with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz. cream cheese softened at room temperature
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter softened at room temperature
6 oz. white chocolate chips, melted

With an electric mixer whip together cream cheese and butter until very fluffy.  Melt white chocolate in a glass microwave in 20-second increments on high power, stirring well after each 20 second period until liquid   (about 3 times).

Allow white chocolate to cool slightly before adding to butter/cream cheese mixture.  Whip until well-incorporated.


Match cakes by size.  Pipe cream on bottom cake and gently top with other cake.

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