Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Filling


It's a new year with a fresh start. For the first time I've actually given my new year's resolutions real thought and wrote them down too...somehow they seem more real written down. I also looked up my last blog post and see that it was in May, and while I've said this before, I'm really going to make a serious effort to post more recipes this year.


I know it's not fall anymore and you may be thinking why do I still have canned pumpkin in my pantry, but I've been wanting to make these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies since September and guess what...I finally did it!  Better late than never. 


The cookie portion of these whoopies were perfectly moist and had just the right amount of pumpkin taste. The filling called for maple syrup, but I added in maple extract as well because I wanted a stronger maple taste. My taste testers agree this was a good addition, but if you don't like maple you could sub in vanilla extract.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Filling 
adapted from Whisks & Whimsy  
makes about 25 whoopie pies

Ingredients 

Cookie: 
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp table salt

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature


Filling:

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp Grade B maple syrup

1 tsp maple extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt

3 cups confectioners sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, canola oil, and eggs on medium speed for 3 minutes, until well combined. Scrape down the bowl and then turn the mixer on low speed. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing for a total of 30 seconds, until the batter is just combined. Scrape down the bowl and make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed. 

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, (the hole should be about the size of the tip of your ring finger) or use a ziploc bag and cut a hole in one of the corners, with the batter. Pipe the batter into 2-inch diameter circles onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2-inches of space between each cookie. I also smoothed out any points on the cookies created by the pastry bag with a finger. Keep the batter refrigerated between batches.
 
Bake for 10 minutes. Then rotate the baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 more minutes, until the cookies are a deep orange color and spring back when touched. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before filling them.

While the cookies are cooling it's time to make the filling.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the maple syrup, maple extract, cinnamon, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the confectioners sugar and then beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and make sure the filling is thoroughly mixed. The filling should hold its shape; so if it is too soft, add more confectioners sugar a tablespoon at a time until the consistency is right. 

Once the cookies are completely cooled, turn half of the cookies bottom-side up. Place a drop of frosting on each bottom-side up cookie using a pastry bag or ziploc bag. Place the remaining cookies on top of the frosted ones and gently press down to sandwich them together.