Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

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.

Ingredients (makes 16 assembled pies)

Cookie-cakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 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 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  • Minneapolis
  • Boston
  • Portland
  • The Ozarks
  • Madison
  • Phoenix
  • Stamford, CT
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Seattle
  • Bay Area