A few weeks back, when we were invited to the farm party, I started thinking about what to bake. One of the purposes of the farm party is to celebrate my friend, Meghan’s, birthday and I try to bring a dessert I know she’ll love. I love bringing people food I know they will enjoy. I get all giddy inside when I succeed. Since Meghan and I are practically twins, I usually can figure out what she’ll like.
I came across this recipe on the Martha Stewart web site and knew immediately it would be perfect. Essentially, it is cakey pumpkin sandwich cookie with cream cheese frosting in the middle. What is not to like about that? Plus, Martha knows a thing or two about baking. I trust her completely and in this case, that was a good call. The whoopie pies were fantastic. They were so fantastic, I needed to find another reason to make them so I could take some pictures and share with you fine folks. Thankfully, sista Joan was hosting a halloween party and I now had a reason.
I think these would be a really fun addition to a Thanksgiving buffet, holiday party, or just to make someone smile…even if that someone is you.
A few notes on the recipe.
1. Martha says it makes 12 whoopie pies. Her pies must be the size of her head, because althought I purposely made these a bit smaller (so I could have two with no quilt), I ended up with around 40 pies. They are great for a party and easy to make ahead of time. They keep great in the fridge.
2. I used real pumpkin. Meaning I bought a pie pumpkin, cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, baked at 400 degrees for close to an hour, scooped out the pulp and pureed it in a food processor. I needed two small pie pumpkins to get 3 cups for this recipe. I love using real pumpkin and they just happen to be in season. I have cooked up quite a few so far and after pureeing the pulp, I throw it in the freezer. This is a tip I got from my friend Cheryl, who is a baking genius. However, you can easily use canned pumpkin in this recipe without concern. No one will ever know.
3. Martha (because she’s Martha) says to pipe the frosting on with a pastry bag. I opted for a knife instead. I mean, it’s being squished between cookies – it doesn’t need to look perfect.
4. Be liberal with the frosting – you’ll have plenty.
Since I made these, I’ve seen various versions of them on different web sites and blogs. I’ll stick with this recipe because I think it’s perfect. If you are interested in a vegan (dairy-free) version, I thought this one on Oh She Glows looked really good.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
From Martha Stewart
For the original on the web site, see here. This is the original recipe below, but I added a few comments.
- FOR THE PUMPKIN WHOOPIE COOKIES
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
- 2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled (fresh or canned)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- FOR THE CREAM-CHEESE FILLING
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat or spray with nonstick spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons (or teaspoons for smaller cookies) of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
- Make the filling: Sift confectioner’ sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
- Assemble the whoopie pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days. Jen says: I used a knife for the frosting, packed my whoopie pies into a tupperware container and stored in the fridge. If they last, I believe they’ll keep longer than three days.