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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling
(Recipe courtesy of http://willowbirdbaking.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/jack-o-latern-whoopie-pies/)
Willow Bird Baking. If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you really should! Like now...you can finish reading this post later! You will find so many recipes to try. You'll be hard pressed to find one you don't want to immediately strap on your apron and cook. She's very talented in the kitchen and behind the camera. I think the recipe I loved most was her Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake. This is a decadent, rich, extravagant dessert that I cannot say enough about. If I can encourage you to try one of her recipes, it would be this one. Because her recipes always come through for me, I turned to her for a Whoopie Pie recipe. I wasn't disappointed. She had just what i was looking for : Jack-O'-Lantern (Pumpkin Spice) Whoopie Pies. Perfect, because I had just been given a slew of pumpkins by my brother and also because I just so happened to have all of the ingredients! I was a little nervous because it was my second attempt at making whoopie pies. My first was a disaster!! The first attempt was Oatmeal Cream Whoopie Pies. They spread on the pan and were the size of a soccer ball! I really don't know what happened...except that I threw it out! Julie's recipe turned out perfect and renewed my faith in my baking skills (and given me the courage to try those Oatmeal Cream Whoopie Pies one more time). Thanks, Julie!!! I hope you will try these!! They were a hit at my house!
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
3 cups all-purpose flour (Jack-O'-Lantern Whoopie Pies)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cloves
2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled (chilling ensures pies won’t spread too much.)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle four mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
Make the filling: Sift confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
Assemble the whoopee pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies for at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.