Monday, October 1, 2012

Favorite Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

By the time this posts, it will be October.  October is fall at it's fullest, I think.  It's the month of Halloween, the first frosts in Northern vicinities, anticipating cool fronts in all vicinities and winter squash.  The name of this recipe is a bit inaccurate--in fact, there is no pumpkin in these whoopie pies.  How exciting does butternut squash or kabocha squash whoopie pies sound though?  There is no warm, cozy feeling emitted with either of those titles.  So although, no pumpkins were harmed in the cooking of this recipe, I am leaving the title as is.

Last year when I made my old pumpkin whoopie pie recipe, I was a bit disappointed.  It could be better, I felt, much better.  This year, after I had cooked down four smallish butternut squash I searched for a new recipe.

I love this recipe.  It has twice as much squash as my old recipe and fewer spices.  That's a good thing.  The flavor is better because of it.

This will make 2 dozen or so appropriately sized whoopie pies.  I know, that's not enough.  Just go ahead and double this recipe when you make it.  They freeze fabulously--just thaw a bit before eating.

Favorite Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
adapted from browneyedbaker.com and Martha Stewart (maybe)

Cakes
3 c flour
2 T cinnamon
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t ground ginger
a dash of freshly grated nutmeg (or 1/2 t ground nutmeg)
1 c sugar
1 c dark brown sugar
1 c canola oil
3 c chilled butternut squash, kabocha squash, or pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
2 eggs
1 t vanilla

Icing
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 c butter, at room temperature
3 c powdered sugar
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1 t vanilla

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.  In a separate large bowl, beat with an electric mixer the sugars and the oil, until well combined.  Add the pumpkin and continue to beat until to combine thoroughly.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat some more.  Gradually add the flour mixture and beat gently until combined.  Using a small ice cream scoop, drop rounded heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets.  Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 12 or so minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centers come out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool completely on the racks.

Meanwhile, make the icing.  Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the icing is lump free.  Stir in the nutmeg and vanilla to combine.

To assemble the whoopie pies, pair the cooled cakes together, looking for cakes that are similar in size. Top on flat side of the cake with icing.  Top with the other cookie, flat side down against the icing.

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