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The Batter Thickens: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Whipped Cinnamon Frosting

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Whipped Cinnamon Frosting

This is the second time I've made these in less than 3 weeks. For someone who rarely re-makes things at all, that's a lot.

And it should speak volumes about how incredibly beyond-words yummy these guys are.

I, like almost everyone else in the baking blogosphere - or the entire world, really - have a massive, unapologetic crush on pumpkin flavor. As soon as October hits, I come down with a raging case of pumpkin fever, resistant to any cure but the onset of the Christmas season. And even then, I'm only willing to part ways because I know the interim separation will make our reunion all the sweeter the following autumn.

This is all to say that I had pretty high expectations for these whoopie pies going in. The recipe's pictures promised soft pillowy pies of moist pumpkin goodness. It was infatuation at first sight. Love came later, after the first bite. Because oh my goodness, did these cookies exceed my expectations.

Being pleasantly surprised by how a recipe turns out is always a welcome experience, but rarely does a recipe completely floor me as much as this one did, especially when I'd already set the bar so high in my mind. These pies not only met my every expectation, but improved upon my fantasies. And when it comes to pumpkin, you should know that's hard to do.

The cookies are cakey in the most moist, chewy way. They're dynamically flavorful, pairing a pumpkinyness ample enough to satisfy the most fervent pumpkin lover with its perfect compliment - a light whipped cinnamon frosting with just the right amount of sweetness. And they're nice and thick, making them oh-so-satisfying to bite into, filling your mouth with the most heavenly embodiment of fall's finest flavors.

My little pumpkin-addled heart didn't stand a chance.

I know I shouldn't be saying this in a forum on which I'm supposed to entice you with alluring pictures of delectables, but these pictures don't do the pies justice.

They just don't.

So here's one more for the road, but really, the only solution is to go make them for yourself.

p.s. Happy Halloween! I'm off to make myself a classic ghost sheet costume. My (21-year-old) friend and I are going trick-or-treating tonight and we need a way to disguise our faces - and our age! Don't judge. You only wish you had the joie de vivre to try it yourself ;)

- Molly

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Whipped Cinnamon Filling
Makes 2 dozen pies

For the cookies:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

For the filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
1/3 cup whipping cream, at room temperature
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer with the cookie paddle attached, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and mix to incorporate. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix to combine. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the butter mixture and then sprinkle the baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and salt over the flour. Mix until well incorporated, about a minute. Using a one-ounce scoop, scoop the batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookie springs back slightly when touched.

For the filling: Use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to beat the butter, whipping cream, cinnamon, and vanilla bean extract with the wire whisk attachment. Beat at medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat for another 3-5 minutes. The filling will be very fluffy and a medium-thin consistency. If the icing is too thick, add a touch of cream and beat again. If it is too thin add a little more powdered sugar and beat again.

Spread a tablespoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container.

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