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.
- 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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 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.
- Add the eggs, slowly into the mixture, one at a time.
- 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.
- Add pumpkin puree, mix to thoroughly combine. Scrape down while mixing.
- 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.
- 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.
- Whisk all ingredients together until light and fluffy. The butter must be room temperature when mixing.
- Set aside until needed.
- 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.
- 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.