Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Whoopee Pies


About a year ago, John and I took a little road trip to Lancaster County, PA (aka "Amish Country"). One of my fondest memories of the trip is the giant box of whoopee pies that we bought (the Amish people sure have a gift for making baked goods... how they do it without the Food Network or the interwebs is a mystery to me). We bought all different flavors... your classic chocolate, chocolate peanut butter (my personal favorite), red velvet, and pumpkin. Check out our whoopee pie bounty:




So when I came across this recipe on the Cooks Illustrated web site, I knew I had to try it. Since it's the time of year for all things pumpkin, I thought this would be an appropriate dessert. Plus, we were planning to take them over to Joe and Brooke's (John's brother and sister-in-law) for dinner, and Brooke is a pumpkin connoisseur (and she gave these two thumbs up!).

Although I might make a few changes next time, I thought these came out pretty well for my first whoopee pie attempt (you can pretty much bet on the second attempt being chocolate peanut butter). For starters, I'll make extra frosting next time... this recipe left me with a few cookies unfrosted (tragic, no?). I firmly believe that you can never have too much frosting. The recipe tells you to flatten each cookie (prior to baking) so that it's a half inch thick. I wasn't overly careful about doing that since I didn't anticipate how much the cookies would puff up when baked. I certainly wouldn't do anything to change the flavors, though.


Cookies:
1     (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
2     large eggs
3/4     cup vegetable oil
2     cups granulated sugar
2     teaspoons vanilla extract
2     teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2     teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
4     cups all-purpose flour
4     teaspoons baking powder
2     teaspoons baking soda
1     teaspoon table salt

Filling:
8     tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), softened but still cool
4     ounces cream cheese (1/2 package), at room temperature
3/4     cup Marshmallow Fluff (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4     teaspoon table salt
1     teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4     cups confectioners' sugar , sifted

Instructions:

1. For the cookies: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper (I used silicone baking mats sprayed with some cooking spray).
  
2. Stir pumpkin, eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in large bowl until well blended. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until well incorporated.
 
3. Using small ice cream scoop (#30 is the perfect size) or tablespoon measure, drop 2 tablespoons of dough on prepared baking sheet. (You should fit nine scoops of dough on each sheet.) Spread dough into 2-inch rounds about 1/2 inch thick and spaced 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are just set and bottoms are lightly browned, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Slide cookies, still on parchment, to cooling racks. Cool baking sheets, line with fresh parchment paper, and repeat with remaining dough.

4. For the filling: With electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until no lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add Marshmallow Fluff and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 60 seconds. Beat in salt and vanilla until well blended, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Reduce speed to low and gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth, about 1 minute.
 
5. Spread 2 tablespoons filling on center of flat side of one cookie. Place flat side of second cookie on filling and press cookies together to bring filling to edges. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. (Cookies can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 4 days).

Makes about 18 whoopee pies.

And just for fun, here's a picture of John and I pretending to be Amish...




Download a printable recipe here!
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3 comments:

John said...

I like when you randomly decide to do adorable things, like make whoopee pies!

Kevin said...

Bec is so much more convincing as ana Amish than john for some reason.

Joe said...

I can attest to their awesomeness. I actually liked the one I ate yesterday better than the more fresh one on Sunday. Damn good stuff.