Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
I know what you’re thinking: “Two sandwich cookie recipes in a row? Really?”
Yes, really. It’s only because I have to post the Daring Bakers challenge recipe on the 27th of each month, and then this recipe was next in my queue. And these cookies were really good, so I didn’t want to make you wait too long 🙂
When I came across this recipe in The Washington Post a couple of weeks ago, it looked too good to pass up. Plus it’s nice and autumny, which makes it perfect for this time of year. You could even buy a pumpkin and make your own pureed pumpkin. If you do make these and you don’t want to be faced with eating them all by yourself (and the unpleasant consequences that would ensue…) you can take them to work and your colleagues will be forever grateful.
If you were wavering on whether or not to make these, I think I’ve given you enough reasons. No rationalizing necessary!
And the frosting (sigh) ….. Lord have mercy.
I had about 1/3 of the frosting left over by the time I’d finished making the little sandwiches and it took all of my self-control to not sit there and eat it. I do, after all, love frosting. Especially if it’s chocolate butter cream or the funfetti vanilla icing in a plastic jar (which is surprisingly difficult to find at grocery stores nowadays, although I guess that’s good since it tastes mighty fine on nothing but a spoon. Or your finger.)
But let’s be honest: who am I to discriminate when it comes to frosting? With a hint of cinnamon and vanilla, this frosting was really good. You should be generous with the frosting when making the little sandwiches because then you won’t have as much left over. And then you won’t be tempted to just eat it.
The cookies are more like little mini cake bites than like cookies, since they’re light, fluffy and not very crispy. If you like pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing, these cookies are for you. No, scratch that. These cookies are for everyone.
Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies
(Adapted from The Washington Post)
For the cookies
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup packed (light or dark) brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup 100-percent pure canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup whole or low-fat milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted, plus more for optional dusting
For the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready 2 ungreased baking sheets.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice blend, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Combine the brown sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, until creamy. Stop to add the pumpkin puree, milk, egg and vanilla extract; beat on medium-low speed for 2 minutes, until all ingredients are incorporated. Reduce the speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
Drop level tablespoonfuls of dough onto each baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart (the cookies do not spread much). Bake one sheet at a time, for 9 to 12 minutes or until set; they should spring back when lightly pressed. Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet; then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat to use all the dough, making a total of 60 cookies.
To make 2-inch cookies, drop 2-tablespoon amounts of dough on the sheets. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until set and springy to the touch. Cool as directed above; repeat to use all the dough, making a total of 32 cookies.
For the filling: Combine the cream cheese, butter, cinnamon and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat at medium speed 3 minutes until smooth, stopping often to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, or up to 4 cups as needed, beating well after each addition until the mixture is creamy. (More sugar means a stiffer filling.)
Turn half the cookies flat-sides up. Spread each one with 2 teaspoons of the filling, then top with the remaining cookies. If desired, dust the tops of the cookies with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.