Friday, December 13, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

I love these cookies. They are a little unique and always a favorite around the holidays. I was inspired by a recipe I clipped out of the Washington Post many years ago. After many changes and tweaks, I think it's just about perfect. These sandwich cookies are best eaten the same day, but if you're not going to eat them, refrigerate them as the center can get kind of goopy if left out for too long.

Makes about 36 sandwich cookies

For the cookies:
  • 1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 C. packed brown sugar
  • 1 C. canned pumpkin
  • ½ C. milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 C. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
For the filling:
  • 8 oz. whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ C. powdered sugar

To make the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. 

In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and brown sugar at medium speed for about 3 minutes or until creamy. Add the pumpkin, milk, egg, and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all ingredients are combined.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. The dough will be sticky.

Use a tablespoon to drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in evenly sized rounds, spaced about 1 inch apart. Bake one sheet at a time, for about 10 minutes, until set.

Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Repeat to use all the dough, making about 72 cookies.

For the filling: 

Beat the cream cheese, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla for about 3 minutes on high speed, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. 

Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar until the mixture is creamy. 

To assemble the whoopie pies, spread the bottom of one cookie with some of the filling, then top with another cookie to make a sandwich.

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