Handheld dessert happiness for all!
Living in New Hampshire, I’ve seen whoopie pies for ages. However, I’ve never made them. A good friend gave me a recipe for classic whoopie pies years ago, but the recipe made me wrinkle my nose. The main ingredient of the filling was vegetable shortening. That doesn’t fall into my realm of delicious. So, I put that recipe in the circular file.
At some point I was introduced to pumpkin whoopie pies but didn’t really give much thought to making them at home. They were on my perpetual “I’ll try it someday” list. Then came this Thanksgiving. We have only one of our four at home for the holiday and were to be joined by friends who are more like family. With a group of five, I asked what dishes everyone wanted since there wasn’t the need to make an unending list of dishes, as one does for a bigger gathering.
My son had one request for dessert: pecan pie. I was glad to oblige but knew I needed to make two desserts. Obviously, you need to have variety, even when it’s a small crowd. Plus, one of our friends is allergic to tree nuts, so I needed a dessert he could eat. I asked for a request from him, and he asked for either apple or pumpkin.
As I’ve made a bunch of apple creations lately, I decided to try my hand at pumpkin. That led me to decide this was the year to try pumpkin whoopie pies. Now, I had all of the decisions to make. Use butter or oil? What spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves? Full-size or mini? They may not be earth shattering decisions, but they are things I consider seriously when planning a recipe.
A couple weeks before Thanksgiving I made my first batch. I thought they tasted good, so I took a batch to my hubby’s office and shared them with his co-workers. Apparently, homemade desserts are well received on a Friday afternoon. I saw many smiles and heard a bunch of yums in the few minutes I was there.
For Thanksgiving they were the perfect dessert. They’re nice and sweet but also smaller, which helps when you’re full for dinner. Or wanting to eat a piece of pecan pie as well. Or want to eat 2 or 3 of these. Or are contemplating a turkey sandwich as the post-dessert meal. Whatever the reason, these mini pumpkin whoopie pies were an excellent Turkey Day choice.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted & cooled
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1-2/3 cups flour
- 4 oz. cream cheese, chilled
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tb. whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place butter and brown sugar in stand mixer, and beat with paddle attachment on speed 2 until smooth.
- Add egg, mixing until fully incorporated on speed 2.
- Add pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, ground cloves, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing well on speed 2.
- Use a spatula to scrape down the sides, and mix again.
- Add flour, mixing on low; scrape sides with spatula and mix until fully blended.
- Scoop approximately 1-1/2 tablespoons batter, spaced evenly, onto baking sheet.
- Bake for about 18 minutes, or until cakes spring back when touched.
- Allow to cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet.
- Transfer to baking rack to cool completely.
- In a stand mixer cream together the cream cheese and butter on speed 2 for about 4 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix on low speed until combined.
- Spread the flat side of 15 cakes with the cream cheese frosting.
- Top each with another cake.