Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

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If you made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, chances are there’s an extra can of pumpkin puree still hanging around cluttering up your pantry shelves. In the out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new spirit of the new year, put that puree to good use (and fill the house with that familiar fallish scent), by baking a batch of Chef Brian Mercury’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, which are a great dessert to follow a Sunday dinner or a nice way to reward someone for shoveling the driveway.


Servings: 12


For the cookies
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 ounces canned 100% pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 1/2 scant cups bread flour.
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
For the cream cheese icing
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
  • 12 ounces butter, at room temperature
  • 2 scant cups confectioners’ sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


For the cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk together sugar and oil until they form a light, uniform and creamy mixture. It may help to use a mixer, if one is handy. Getting as much air into the mixture is essential.
  3. Add the eggs, slowly into the mixture, one at a time.
  4. Sift together bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Incorporate the sugar, egg and oil mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing.
  5. Add pumpkin puree, mix to thoroughly combine. Scrape down while mixing.
  6. Using a 2 ounce ice cream scoop, or similar device, scoop mixture onto a greased, parchment-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Lightly pat down scoops, as they will rise during baking.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until cookies spring to the touch. Test the cookies with a toothpick to prevent over/under-baking (toothpick should come out clean). Let cool completely on pan.
For the cream cheese icing
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until light and fluffy. The butter must be room temperature when mixing.
  2. Set aside until needed.
To assemble whoopie pies
  1. Once the cookies have cooled, build the sandwiches with cream cheese icing using a disposable pastry bag with the end snipped off. Press sandwiches down lightly until cream cheese icing reaches the edge.
  2. Cover cookies with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Cookies can be frozen and will keep refrigerated up to three days.
It is ideal to use a scale when measuring sugar (8 ounces), confectioners' sugar (9 ounces) and bread flour (7 1/2 ounces).

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