These moist, springy pumpkin whoopie pies adapted from Epicurious.com were a big hit. Since they’re individual desserts, they are a little involved, but you can make the cookie/cakes the day before. This recipe makes approximately 16 assembled pies.
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
0.5 teaspoon baking powder
0.5 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon ground ginger
0.25 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
0.25 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup packed light brown sugar
0.5 cup vegetable oil
2 cups pure pumpkin or butternut squash [To make your own pumpkin or squash puree, halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Put the pumpkin cut-side-down onto a cookie sheet or baking pan filled with a half-inch of water. Put the pan in a hot oven [say, 400 degrees] for just under an hour, or until a fork can easily pierce the flesh. Let it cool, then scoop that flesh and roughly puree in a food processor. Although this takes about an hour, it’s very little active time.]
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Filling [this will make some extra]
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
.25 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices. Whisk together “wet” ingredients: sugar, oil, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla in a separate large bowl until well combined. Then mix wet and dry.
Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or tablespoon measure, drop a scant scoop’s worth of batter or 2 scant tablespoons of batter onto a lined baking sheet to form 1 mound. Make 15 more mounds, arranging them 2 inches apart until baking sheet is full (you will have batter left over). 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. You should have a total of 32 cookie-cakes.
Beat cream cheese, butter, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and mix on low speed until smooth. To assemble, wait until the cookies are cool! Then, spread 1 heaping tablespoon of filling to one of the cooled cookie-cakes, then top with another half. Gently press pecans onto filling around middle of each whoopie pie to help them adhere to filling.