Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

If you’re not planning on eating out for Thanksgiving tomorrow, then you better be in the kitchen baking, or else prepping for tomorrow’s big feast!
If you’re looking for a last minute dessert, here’s one that will satisfy the pickiest of eaters. From the friends I know that have kids or grandkids, they are always having to think of a dessert that the kids will like. Sweet potato and pumpkin pies aren’t really kid-friendly. While kids would enjoy brownies or cookies, how about keeping the festive pumpkin tradition in Thanksgiving, and make these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies? 
Before you ask what a whoopie pie is (like my husband did), here’s the breakdown: imagine eating a piece of cake with lots of frosting in cookie form. 
According to wikipedia (I know, it’s not a real encyclopedia), whoopie pies are considered either a cookie, pie or cake. It’s made with two round mound-shaped pieces of cake with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them. Alternate names include ‘black moon’, ‘gob’, ‘black-and-white’, bob, or ‘BFO’ for ‘Big Fat Oreo’ – that is if you are making the chocolate ones. 
FUN FACT: Did you also know that the whoopie pie is the official state treat of Maine? Pretty cool, right? 
Anyways, the taste is outstanding. The cookies are soft, spicy and moist – like cake. My husband Matt was extremely impressed, and I’ll be bringing these babies to Thanksgiving tomorrow. Enjoy!
Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices.
In another bowl, whisk together sugars and oil. 
Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine.
Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture.
Scoop rounds of dough on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. 
Bake for 12 minutes at  350 F. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Make the frosting by beating together butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract.
Frost the cookies. 
Take a big bite and enjoy!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 cups canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (I used 1/3-less-fat)
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. FOR THE COOKIES: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. In another, larger bowl, whisk the sugars and oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. Finally, gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine completely.
3. Use a small scoop (or large spoon) to drop rounds of dough ( about 1.5 – 2 tablespoons each) onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1-inch apart.
4. Bake for 12 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from the oven, then let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
5. TO MAKE THE FILLING: beat the butter on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat to combine. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.
6. TO ASSEMBLE THE WHOOPIE PIES: Turn half of the cookies over so the flat side is up. Put the cream cheese filling in a disposable pastry bag and cut a hole from the end. Pipe the filing onto the flat side of the turned cookies. (I used a small cookie scoop to spoon icing onto each cookie.)
7. Sandwich with the remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so the filling spreads to the edge. Cover the whoopie pies and transfer them to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Yield: about 2 dozen (I made 27 whoopie pies)
Recipe from: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

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