While it may be the end of October, it’s certainly not the end of fall inspired treats. I made these for a trip down to Lexington to see some of our best friends, and they were definitely a big hit. I knew Samiya in particular would like them because, well, because they’re cute and little and involve pumpkin! Moving to a new place, with new people, has really made me miss the awesome friends we had in med school. Following college, I moved to Louisiana with three crazy awesome roommates, and there was pretty much a constant source of entertainment and adventure at our house (and in Louisiana in general). Then in medical school, our apartment complex was basically like a grown-up college dorm, where study groups, dinner parties and watching people play video games was always only a step away. It’s a lot different now, living in a neighborhood, with friends scattered all over, and schedules that are completely different because of residency. But I guess that’s just part of growing up, and it’s not so bad.
Now these pumpkin whoopie pies were described as a pumpkin cupcake in a different form, and I’d say that’s pretty close to accurate! The batter is a bit more dense than a cupcake, but just as moist, and the filling is strikingly similar. Truthfully, can you go wrong with cream cheese frosting? I really liked these because they are visually appealing, and easy to eat…which turned out to be both a good and bad thing. Just glad I had people to help me finish them off :-).
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Makes approximately 36 sandwiches
For the pumpkin cookies:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 cups chilled pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the maple cream cheese filling:
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 oz. cream cheese, cold
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the pumpkin cookies, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk sugars and oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
Transfer the cookie batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe small rounds of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1½-2 inches in diameter. If desired, smooth the top of cookies with a few drops of water and the bottom of a spoon.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
To make the filling, combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-heat speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat the filling or it will lose structure, if this occurs refrigerate for 20 minutes. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.
To assemble, pair the cookies up by size. Pipe filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich together with the remaining cookie. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm before serving.
Adapated from Annie’s Eats