Friday, November 12, 2010

Recipe: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Fall is my favorite season for several reasons: I can wear sweaters, the brutal Texas heat has finally abated, college football has arrived, and I can finally bake with pumpkin!  We all know I am thoroughly obsessed with whoopie pies right now, and it wouldn't be fair to the almighty pumpkin if we didn't include it on the list of flavors for whoopie pies.

I searched all over the place for different recipes using pumpkin in whoopie pies, and I decided that I liked this one from Rachael Ray the best.  Other recipes call for vegetable oil, but I like the flavor and richness that the melted butter provides in this recipe, plus they don't feel so greasy.  Pumpkin is to cream cheese frosting like peanut butter is to jelly, so fill these little guys with a cream cheese frosting for a super rich and decadent fall delight.  Thanksgiving will never be the same!

One more thing...we all know I love my spice, so of course I added an 1/8 tsp of chipotle powder to the spice mix.  I gotta tell ya, it was an amazing flavor combination.  Throw me on a desert island and the two things I'd ask for would be chipotle powder and duct tape.  If you're a little hesitant to try it, don't worry.  The heat is very minimal and subtle, but it dovetails nicely with the pumpkin and the cream filling. 


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
1 stick (4 oz) butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp chipotle powder (optional)
1 2/3 cups flour

1.  Preheat your oven to 350F and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth.
3.  Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour.
5.  Pipe or spoon the batter onto your cookie sheet, evenly spaced.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow to cool before spreading filling between two cookies.


8 oz of cream cheese
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 container of Marshmallow Fluff

1.  Whip the cream cheese until soft.
2.  Add in the powdered sugar in small amounts until the frosting is thick.
3.  Fold in the marshmallow fluff; don't overbeat!
4.  Spread or pipe the filling in between two pumpkin cookies and smoosh together.
5.  Serve up and enjoy!


Some food for thought...
  • You can use either fresh or canned pumpkin puree.  I try to pick my battles I use canned, but if you have the time and energy to use fresh, go for it!
  • You can use regular whoopie pie filling instead if you choose.  I strongly encourage you to find flavors you love and experiment!
  • I love parchment paper because it means easy cleanup, but trying to pipe thick batter on top of it can be frustrating when it moves around.  Try wetting the backs of the corners with a little bit of water and pasting it down to the cookie sheet.  Cooking spray also works well!
  • I like that Rachael's recipe uses pumpkin pie spice for ease; if you don't have any on add, just do a mixture of 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg.
  • On portion sizes:  Rachael's recipe and method makes about a dozen large cookies.  I personally prefer to make smaller ones so that I don't feel as guilty about eating more than one of something so rich and decadent.  This batch made a little over two dozen 1.5" sized cookie sandwiches. 
  • One tester's comments on Rachael's site mentioned that she felt the cookies were too large and too high (domed).  To combat this, you can dip your (clean!) finger into some water and smooth the tops down a bit.  You can also make the portions smaller by piping smaller amounts.  This will help them bake a bit more evenly.
Dip your finger into some water and pat the points of your dough down so they are more rounded.  If some are too tall you can spread them out using this method too.  The oven will take care of the rest!


Happy baking,

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