December 1, 2011

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

My sister in-law brought these for Thanksgiving.  I must confess, in all my life, I've never tried a whoopie pie!  I know, where have I been?!  Too busy making scones, I guess.  These are simply delicious-and a fun treat to make with your kids!

For the cakes:
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour through nutmeg.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, whisk sugars and oil together.  Add pumpkin and whisk to combine thoroughly.  Add eggs and vanilla; whisk until combined.  Gradually add flour mixture and whisk until combined.  Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop rounded, heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, about 1-inch apart.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes, when cakes are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven to cool completely on wire rack.  For the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.  Add cream cheese and beat about 2 minutes, until smooth and combined.  Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, then add maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.  To assemble the pies, turn half the cakes over, pipe or spoon filling (about a tablespoon) onto half.  Place another cake on top of filling.  Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to edges of cake.  Chill for about 30 minutes before serving.
a few notes........I know, I always have to mess with the fat in a recipe!  To make myself feel better :), I only used 3/4 cup of oil and added 1/4 cup plain yogurt.  For the filling, I only used 4 tablespoons butter and used the low fat cream cheese.  I did not add the maple syrup (LOVE maple syrup, but thought it would make these a little too sweet.)  I'm really not into rich desserts.  If you're a purist and you want a properly fat whoopie pie, thick with filling, you'll probably want to use the regular cream cheese and exact amount of
butter.  But to me, these tasted great and the whole family loved them!  Fun with sprinkles too!

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