Monday, October 3, 2011

Whoopie for Pumpkin!

I've always liked whoopie pies.  I've pretty much always liked dessert sandwiches period.  Ice cream sandwiches, cookie sandwiches and by now you know I'm somewhat obsessed with the French macarons, another dessert sandwich!  Let's get real, it's just a good idea.... Good stuff squeezed between more good stuff.  Yum.

I always enjoy baking with the seasons and my son, Josh, actually decided on pumpkin when we were at the grocery store.  He pointed and said "pumpkin."  They had carving pumpkins, but also some cute (read: littler) pie pumpkins.  I adore anything littler than it's regular size counterpart... So, I brought the baby pumpkin home.

To roast your own pumpkin (highly recommended, but very understandable to buy canned pumpkin), first rinse well, cut off the top near the stem, then cut it in half.  Use a big spoon to scrape out the seeds and pumpkin "innards."  If you are so inclined, save them so you can roast the seeds.  (Yummy with salt!)  Cut each half into thirds and place them cut side down on a sheet pan.  Roast in the oven at 350 F for about 45 minutes.

It's not necessary to peel the pumpkin, once it's roasted the skin will start wrinkling up and trying to come off anyway.  It's not easy to peel a raw pumpkin, so I always wonder why people want to do that before roasting!

Once the flesh is tender, remove from the oven and allow the pumpkin pieces to cool a bit in the pan.  Then peel the skin, using a peeler for any stubborn patches that remain.  Puree the pieces in your food processor until smooth.  You can use immediately or freeze in well-sealed plastic baggies for about 6 months or so.

Pumpkin Whoopies (from A Cozy Kitchen)
makes about 12 whoopie pies

12.5 oz flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t cardamon
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg (I really like to freshly grind my own)
1/2 t salt
4 oz butter, softened

1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 c pumpkin puree

Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.  Cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy.  Mix in egg, then pumpkin and vanilla.  Mix in the dry ingredients by hand to be sure you don't overmix. These cookies should be soft, almost like cake, so you don't want to develop too much gluten.  When you can still see just a little flour in the bowl, that means you are almost done mixing.

Drop scoopfuls on your parchment-lined baking pan, allowing a couple of inches in between each to allow for spread.  Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes.  Remove when still soft (cake-like) and cool on a rack.

Cream Cheese Icing

2 oz butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c sifted powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth with no lumps.  Sift in powdered sugar, then beat until smooth again, scraping sides if necessary.  Beat in the vanilla.

Spread half of the cookies with icing, then sandwich with the other half.  If you happen to have a leftover cookie without a mate (I did!), I recommend dragging it as best you can through the remaining icing in the bowl.

1 comment:

handwovenharmony said...

Just got my cholesterol profile and .....You are torturing me. Looks so good. The things we must do for blog homework!