Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Yield: Approx. 8 medium whoopie pies (or 2 dozen mini)
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. pumpkin puree (roasted & mashed fresh* or use canned puree)
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Blend well and set aside. In another large bowl use a hand mixer (or whisk) to beat together the brown sugar, oil, and eggs on medium speed until well combined. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla, and blend thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and blend on low speed just until incorporated. Line two baking sheets with parchment and use a small ice cream scoop (or heaping tablespoon) to drop rounds of batter onto the pans, spacing at least 1” apart. Bake 14-15 minutes or just until the center springs back and tests clean with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and cool completely before filling. Note: The whoopie pies can be frozen at this point - layered on a baking sheet with parchment in between.
Spiced Pumpkin Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
½ stick (4 Tbl) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbl. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. allspice
1/3 c. pumpkin puree
Using an electric mixer combine the cream cheese and butter and blend on medium speed until incorporated. Add the pumpkin and blend well before adding the confectioner’s sugar and spices. Blend until mixture is smooth and chill for at least ½ hour before assembling the whoopie pies (Tip: extra filling is great as a dip for gingersnap cookies and can be stored for several days in the refrigerator).
*Roasting fresh pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 350. Wash the pumpkins and remove the stems. Cut pumpkins in half, remove the flesh and seeds (save for toasting later!), and place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast pumpkins for 45-50 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool a bit before scraping pumpkin solids out of the skins (a 2 ½ - 3 lb. sugar pumpkin yields approx. 6 c. flesh).
Yield: 4 servings
¼ c. lightly packed light brown sugar
3 Tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 large apples, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 sheet thawed puff pastry
Egg wash: 1 egg mixed with 1 tsp. cold water
Cinnamon-sugar topping: 3 Tbl. granulated sugar mixed with ¼ tsp. cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 400. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, softened butter, and 1 tsp. cinnamon, blending to a smooth paste with a fork or spoon. Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface just enough to smooth and extend the size by about ½” around. Cut into four even squares (approx. 5” in diameter), and place on a parchment-line baking sheet. Spread 1 tsp. of the cinnamon-paste in the center of each square and top with the chunks of apples, mounding in the center to leave edges exposed as much as possible. Drop another teaspoon of the paste mixture on top of the apples. Lightly brush the edges of pastry with egg wash and gently pull together the four corners, pinching to seal in the center and twisting to form a little knob at the top of each dumpling (be careful not to stretch the dough too much while doing this). Press the side seams gently together to seal and brush the dumplings with egg wash all over. Prepare the cinnamon-sugar topping and sprinkle generously over the top of each dumpling. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until well browned and the running juices have thickened a bit. Remove from the oven and serve warm with ice cream.
- Dumplings can be prepared and frozen unbaked. Bake frozen dumplings at 400 and allow a few minutes additional baking time as needed.
- Whole apples can be used instead of chopped. Peel & core very small apples (allow 1 per person) and pack 2 tsp. of the cinnamon-paste into the center of each apple. Wrap, seal, & bake dumplings following the same directions as above.
- Nuts and/or raisins can also be added to the dumpling.