My friend, Kristin from Meringue Bake Shop wanted to share a recipe with my readers. She thought it would be fun and easy since Halloween is coming up this weekend. It's something that you can do with your kiddos Saturday morning, or you can take these to a Halloween Party, Saturday night!
"Halloween is my second favorite holiday (Christmas holds the #1 spot). It jump-starts the holiday season, gives us our first feelings of fall and there is pumpkin everywhere! I love baking with squash, pumpkin, zucchini, and butternut. Mmmm... Those flavors always feel right this time of the year."
As you may, or may not know I bake cupcakes. Lots of cupcakes. So when I have a chance to bake for coworkers, friends, family, or myself, I like to try different things. So I search the web, check out some of my favorite foodie blogs, and collect ideas and recipes to try. I noticed some buzz around Whoopie Pies so I thought I’d give them a try again. According to Wikipedia, Whoopie Pies got their start in the Amish community and their name came about when the husbands would shout “Whoopie!” when they received one of these treats in their lunch boxes. I had made some Banana Whoopie Pies during the Spring this year but since it’s fall and I’m craving pumpkin and spices, I decided to bake some Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.
These are really fun to make, very easy and kid-friendly. And might I say, VERY tasty! Only a few ingredients are needed. And the bake time is short. Perfect for when you have only a little time available or have little helpers with short attention spans.
I tried a few recipes and this one is my favorite with a few modifications. I found this recipe on Bakespace. Bakespace is a recipe exchange and social network site for people who love food, cooking and baking.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
(Adapted from this recipe)
1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Pinch of black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, molasses and vanilla in large bowl to blend.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin puree. Mixture will look curdled but that’s ok. Mix in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk, beating until just combined.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart, leaving enough room for dough to spread. I use a cookie scoop that holds 1 tbsp. It’s a lot less messy to use when having kitchen help from small hands.
Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Cool completely on wire racks before filling.
Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 TBSP maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2-1 tsp of maple extract (opt, to taste)
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth with no visible lumps. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined and fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and maple extract (if using) and beat until smooth.
Take a cooled cookie and using a butter knife, spread a thick amount of filling to the flat side. Grab another cookie and with flat side sandwich together. Press ever so slightly to get some of the filling to pop out the sides. You should be able to see the filling when looking down at the pie. If you want to get fancy, you can also put the filling into a plastic zipper bag, cut a 1/2” hole in one corner and pipe a big glob onto the flat side of the cookie.
Once all the pies are assembled, take a plate and pour out some Halloween sprinkles, sugars, non-pareils, quins, etc. Holding the pie vertically, roll the edges on the plate picking up the sprinkles along the way. Viola!
If you don’t like pumpkin or are allergic, you can make the original version. I used this recipe. To make them more "Halloweenie", add some orange food coloring to the filling.
Have fun and Happy Halloween!