Archive for September, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Once again, I have taken huge liberties with the naming of this dish. A “Whoopie Pie” is traditionally chocolate, and the filling is a shortening/pudding combination. As much as I love to eat things that are bad for me, something about just eating raw shortening in the filling bothers me. Yes, I realize shortening can’t be raw. Whatever, it’s my brain, I will operate it how I see fit! Anyway, these, obviously are pumpkin. It’s late September, y’all, I gotta have pumpkin! As for the filling, I could think of no better compliment to the pumpkin than cream cheese, so I filled them with basic cream cheese icing. And, it worked! So, as long as the Recipe Police don’t show up to arrest me for my nomenclature violation, lets do this thing!

What to gather: Pumpkin, flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, egg, baking power, baking soda, salt, cinnamon

Hopefully the pumpkin shortage is over? I have no idea. I saw pumpkin at my grocery store the other day and immediately bought 300 cans in case of an apocalypse. Does canned pumpkin help in an apocalypse? I would think so.

Our first step, as it often is in baking, is to cream together the butter and sugar.

Whew, what a work out. Glad I’m not a KitchenAid mixer, that might have been hard. Now, we add the remaining “wet” ingredients. The vanilla, pumpkin and egg, to be more precise.

Give that a whirl.

In a separate bowl, we’re going to mix together all the “dry” ingredients. We don’t want a giant clump of cinnamon in one bite and none in the next 200. Not that any of us would ever eat 200 bites of these. No sir, not me. Nope.

There they are, all in one happy bowl. Now, combine. I used the butter knife that I used to level the flour when I measured it. I didn’t take a picture of me doing this because I didn’t want you to know I used a butter knife to stir it. I’m very low-tech. And terrible at secrets.

Now, it’s time to put it all together. Dump the dry mixture into the wet mixture, and, well, mix.

Oooh it’s looking good! Now, keep in mind, these are not like cookies. Don’t be alarmed if your batter isn’t like cookie dough, it’s not supposed to be. It should be thicker than cake batter, but thinner than cookie dough.

What we have to do now is get them on the cookie sheets. Normally for cookies, I’d use my handy dandy cookie scoop. However, this stuff is way too sticky, and I would end up getting frustrated and throwing my cookie scoop across the room. Then the dog would find it and take it to her secret hiding place to lick all the batter off, and then chew up the handle. When I found it 2 weeks later, I would be very sad. I’d also be out of Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, since 2 weeks went by, so how would I ease my sorrows? Quite obviously, we can’t have that. So, I used a teaspoon. Heaping, clearly, although you could make them far smaller than I did if you wanted. You’d have more of them, but I’m lazy and generally rushy, so I did them bigger.

If you’re still paying attention after that overly lengthy paragraph, the important thing here is that they’re all relatively the same size. Since we’re going to be making them into little sandwiches of bliss, we need the top and bottom to be roughly the same diameter. So, just do it!

Edited to Add: The day I made these, the dog ate them all. Since I had extra icing, I decided to make another batch a couple days later. For that batch, I attempted to do it with my cookie scoop, and it worked perfectly. So, pretty much ignore everything I’ve ever said. Or, at least the paragraph about not using a cookie scoop. I’m sorry I ever doubted my treasured scoop. I won’t let it happen again. Perhaps I need to do an entire series of recipes that utilize cookie scoops to make up for my betrayal.

Pop those bad boys into a 350° oven for 15-17 minutes (less if they’re smaller, of course). You can use that time to file your nails, or file your taxes, or form a single file line. OR, you can mix the icing.

I must inform you that when I made this, I made a full batch of the icing, which ended up being FAR too much. So, for this post, I’ve halved the recipe, so you won’t have this problem. Just make sure you do as I say, and not as I do. Or whatever.

Making cream cheese icing is a very labor intensive and time consuming, not to mention very difficult process. Actually, no it isn’t. You just throw it all in a bowl and mix it. Don’t tell anyone, they’ll want to do it at home.

You can add more or less powdered sugar depending on how thick you need this to be. If you were wanting to pipe it on a cake, for example, you’d need it to be a bit sturdier, so, more powdered sugar. If you were making more like a glaze, you’d use less.

Ours is somewhere in the middle. A pretty traditional icing consistency. A consistently consistent consistency.

By now, your whoopie pies should be ready to emerge from the oven. You can probably smell the pumpkin and cinnamon baking, and your stomach is growling. Mine, too. Lets go get them!

You’re probably excited to get this finished, and I can’t blame you, but! You Must! Be! Patient! These will need to cool completely before you put them together. I really mean it! If you frost them still hot, the warmth will melt the icing and you’ll have quite a mess on your hands. Literally. Figuratively. Spiritually. It won’t take that long for them to cool, maybe 15 minutes or so, you can wait it out.

Once they are cool, you can go to town! Just spread a generous amount of icing on the bottom of one, and add another. Put the bottoms together, so it’s pretty on both sides.

Keep going until you’ve built them all. If you have an odd one, then you are to slather it with an even generouser amount of icing and shove it in your mouth in one bite. But don’t tell anyone.

These turned out so yummy! If I wasn’t already married, and already me, I’d marry me.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

1 15oz can pumpkin puree
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

ICING:
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces softened cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together butter and sugar; mix in pumpkin puree, vanilla and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and blend until combined.

Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

Once cool, spread icing on bottom of one cookie, and press an additional cookie to it.

To make icing: Beat together all ingredients until smooth.

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