The Great Cookie Experiment- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

The Great Cookie Experiment- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

 I love cooking spooky Halloween food.  Every year, little magazines come out with Halloween recipes, and I collect them fairly obsessively looking for the perfect recipes.  I have a large stack.  Some are so old, they’re falling apart, but I love them, and keep buying more.  I might need professional help for this obsession.  There is ONE Halloween food that I must admit disappoints me- Halloween cookies.  Christmas is easy- almost anything can be classified as a Christmas cookie if you want it to count.  Halloween is much harder.  You either have to have pumpkin in it, or it has to be shaped like something spooky, or it has to be black or orange.  It is not that easy to find unique cookies for Halloween that are more than just sugar cookies decorated to look like pumpkins.  Or bats.  Or ghosts.  Or whatever shape you have cookie cutters for.  I have maybe ten recipes in all of those stacks of cookbooks.

 

Luckily, Taste of Home came out with this awesome Halloween issue last year, that has many different Halloween themes, and some excellently unique and tasty cookies!  It is my current favorite Halloween cookbook, and I plan on having a lot of fun with their ideas.

 

In the meantime, I tried their recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.  I decided I needed these to deliver to neighbors this season, and I’m really glad they were so delicious!  The cookie itself only had a little pumpkin in it, but it was rich with spices and I would say the cookie could stand on its own without the filling, no problem.  Some whoopee pie variants have a bland cookie, and I love this spicy cookie much better.  As for the filling…well…I always have a hard time with whoopee pie fillings.  It’s a shortening based batter that’s thickened with flour, and it always tastes kind of….bland.  I like butter cream frosting or cream cheese frosting so much better, but that isn’t a traditional whoopee pie.  I liked this filling, however, because over time it absorbed the spicy taste of the cookie, and the two complimented each other very well!  I would suggest that you serve these the next day if you want that flavor blend.  Don’t feel like you have to wait, though, they’re still very good.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

 

1 cup shortening

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 ½ cups flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

½ cup canned pumpkin

Filling:

¼ cup flour

dash salt

¾ cup milk

1 cup shortening

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

 

Cream shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.  Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the pumpkin.  Drop by rounded Tablespoonfuls onto greased baking pans.  Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.  Bake at 400 for 10-11 minutes.  Cool.

 

For filling, in a small saucepan, combine flour and salt.  Gradually whisk in milk until smooth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Cover and refrigerate until cooled.  Beat shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add chilled mixture.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Spread on the bottom of half of the cookies.  Top with remaining cookies.  Makes about 2 dozen.

 

Julie

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