Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin whoopie pies? Yes. Pumpkin. Whoopie. Pies. Delicious, pumpkin spicy treats with cream cheese filling. What can I really say other than that?

This recipe is a hybrid, using the cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour and the filling recipe from Martha Stewart. I adapted the recipe only in the size of the cookies I scooped – rather than using a 1/4 cup scoop, I used a two-inch scoop to yield slightly smaller treats. Next time, I think I’ll use a one-inch scoop for mini treats.

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses

For the filling

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combine pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, vegetable oil, and molasses*. Beat until completely combined, then scrape down the bowl and add flour mixture in three batches, mixing well between each.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they feel firm to the touch; a slight indentation will remain when you press your finger in the middle. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, then add vanilla extract and 1 cup powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well between each addition.

Flip cookies over and drop a 1-inch scoop of filling onto half; spread with an offset spatula, then top with another cookie.

Store in an airtight container, individually wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

My batch made 19 whoopie pies and one extra cookie without a partner, which I topped with some filling.

Advertisements

Fluffernutter Whoopie Pies

fluffernutter whoopies

If you’ve never had a fluffernutter, you haven’t really lived. Today, to my astonishment, I learned that some people don’t know what a fluffernutter is…and even if they knew, they’d never actually had one. How is this possible? This is America. Land of the marshmallow fluff, home of the peanut butter.

But seriously, if you’ve neither heard of nor eaten a fluffernutter, it’s a sandwich made with white bread, peanut butter, and marshmallow creme (or fluff, if you will)…and it is delicious. Invented in Massachusetts during World War I, this fluffy, peanut buttery treat was originally called a liberty sandwich, though I have no idea why. Last weekend I tried (unsuccessfully, but that’s another story for another time) to make fluffernutter cupcakes; they failed, but these flutternutter whoopie pies were a huge hit in my office today. The recipe below is adapted from Baking Bites, though I used a different type of filling instead of just marshmallow creme and peanut butter. This recipe makes 18 whoopie pies, and next time I think I’ll use a smaller cookie scoop to yield more.

Ingredients

For the peanut butter whoopie pies

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sour milk* or buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*To make sour milk, place 1 tablespoon vinegar in a glass measuring cup and add enough milk to equal 1 cup total. Stir; let stand for 5 minutes before using.

For the fluffy white filling

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl well. Add peanut butter and beat to combine, then add vanilla and beat well.

Add flour mixture and sour milk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour, beating until no dry streaks remain and batter is well-combined. Your batter will look more like cake batter than cookie dough.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter onto prepared sheets; you should be able to fit 6 cookies on each sheet, as they will spread.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are set and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling, place butter in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add marshmallow creme and vanilla and beat until very well-combined.

Add powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping the sides of your bowl frequently. You want a firm but spreadable consistency so that your filling doesn’t ooze out the sides.

Flip cookies over. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop generous scoops of filling onto half of the cookies. Using a small offset spatula, spread filling slightly, then place another cookie on top.

Wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap for easy serving and storage. Since they are so large, it’s nice to be able to eat half of one and save the other half for later.

 

Patriotic Whoopie Pies

patriotic whoopiesHappy Independence Day, Americans! Let’s celebrate with some star-spangled sweets. These patriotic whoopie pies take a classic red velvet recipe and add a bit of a twist, using both red and blue food coloring for red, white, and blue treats.

The Brown Eyed Baker (another Pittsburgh-based, self-taught baker and blogger) has a great recipe for red velvet whoopie pies, which I used as the base for these treats. Instead of adding the food coloring with the vanilla during mixing, I made the batter first without any food coloring, then divided it and tinted half red and half blue. I also chose a marshmallow creme-based filling, instead of the original recipe’s cream cheese filling so I didn’t need to refrigerate them.

Ingredients

For the red and blue velvet whoopie pies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons red liquid food coloring
  • 3 teaspoons blue liquid food coloring

For the fluffy white filling

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Add the flour and buttermilk alternatively in two batches, beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter into two bowls; you’ll have about 3 1/2 cups of batter in each. Add red food coloring to the first bowl and mix until well-combined; add blue food coloring to the second bowl and mix until very well-combined.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter at least 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets; you’ll have 6 cookies per sheet.

Bake for 10-11 minutes, until tops spring back just slightly when touched. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling, place butter in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add marshmallow creme and vanilla and beat until very well-combined.

Add powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping the sides of your bowl frequently. You want a firm but spreadable consistency so that your filling doesn’t ooze out the sides.

Flip cookies over and match up one blue and one red per whoopie pie. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop generous scoops of filling onto each blue cookie. Using a small offset spatula, spread filling slightly, then place a red cookie on top.

Wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap for easy serving and storage. Since they are so large, it’s nice to be able to eat half of one and save the other half for later.

 

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

chocolatewhoopiesThe whoopie pie: cake, cookie, or pie? To me, certainly not a pie; more of a cross between a cake and a cookie.

Whatever you call them, they come in many varieties. I’ve tried several, and have personally made chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies, lemon raspberry whoopie pies, and vanilla whoopie pies with chocolate filling. Despite this, nothing quite compares to the classic chocolate-cookie-with-fluffy-white-filling whoopie pie. This is my first attempt at the classic version, and I have to say: they are delicious. And enormous. And definitely not heart-healthy. But it’s not like you’ll eat them every day, right?

The recipe below is adapted from Cinnamon-Spice & Everything Nice, incorporating more powdered sugar into the filling to mellow out the sweetness of the marshmallow creme. That probably sounds impossible, but it’s true; a bit more powdered sugar cuts the sticky sweetness of the creme very well, and also stabilizes the filling a bit. Don’t skip the step where you let your filling chill in the refrigerator for just a few minutes; it sets up very nicely and yields a fluffy texture that complements the tender cookies very well.

Ingredients

For the chocolate cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

For the fluffy white filling

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper; my recipe yielded 20 individual cookies for 10 complete whoopie pies.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium glass measuring cup, combine buttermilk and vanilla; mix and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Add brown sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Scrape down your bowl very well and add the egg, then beat until well-combined.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour, mixing until combined after each.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop very generous, heaping scoops of batter onto prepared sheets; you should have 6 cookies per sheet and need to leave a few inches of space between them, as they’ll spread as the bake.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are set and spring back lightly when touched. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

To make the fluffy white filling, beat butter on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and marshmallow creme, beating for about 2 minutes to combine. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well to combine.

Chill filling for about 5 minutes in your refrigerator; this will allow it to set up slightly and provides a sturdier texture.

Flip cookies over and divide filling evenly among half of them; using a small offset spatula, spread filling slightly, then place another cookie on top.

Wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap for easy serving and storage. Since they are so large, it’s nice to be able to eat half of one and save the other half for later.

 

 

 

Vanilla Whoopie Pies

vanilla whoopieThe whoopie pie comes in many varieties. I wanted to make classic chocolate cake/vanilla filling whoopies today, but I lacked buttermilk and didn’t think a sour milk substitution would do the trick. And so, I opted for a reverse on the classic: vanilla cake/chocolate filling whoopies.  (And how fun is it to say whoopie pie, by the way? A lot of fun.)

The vanilla cake part of this recipe is an adaptation from King Arthur Flour’s Double-Vanilla Whoopie Pie, and the chocolate filling is slightly adapted from a version I used in my homemade fudge rounds. I’ll admit: the flavors need a bit of tweaking, and next time I’ll probably add some more vanilla to both, and I’ll likely add more cocoa powder for the filling to ramp up the chocolateyness.

Ingredients

Vanilla Cakes

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 11 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup milk

Chocolate filling

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter for about 2-3 minutes, until very light and fluffy.

Add baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and beat well.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl between each.

Add flour and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour and mixing until batter is just combined. Batter will be thick and fluffy.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared sheets, placing about 2 inches apart; you should have 6 scoops on each sheet.

Bake for 8-9 minutes, until edges are set and tops are just slightly springy. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, beat shortening and butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and almond extracts and beat until combined.

Add cocoa powder and 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until combined. Slowly add 2 additional cups powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes; if your filling is thin, add another 1/2 cup powdered sugar and beat again until the consistency is fluffy.

To fill, flip cakes over and, using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of filling onto half of the cakes. Spread with an offset spatula and top with another cake.

Wrap whoopie pies in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container at room temperature. You could probably refrigerate these, but they might dry out a bit.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

choc pb whoopies If ever there was a treat worth fighting over, it would be the whoopie pie. Pennsylvania, Maine, and New Hampshire all claim that whoopie pies were invented in their states, though some food historians believe that it was in fact the Amish in Pennsylvania, who migrated to other places, who pioneered these amazing cookies.

Pittsburghers call these treats gobs, but I think that whoopie pie is an infinitely happier term. Traditional whoopie pies are tender, cakey chocolate cookies with a thick layer of fluffy white frosting in between, but they’ve been adapted to incorporate an array of flavors, like pumpkin or lemon or vanilla. This recipe is adapted from the Martha Stewart Cookie Book recipe; I am pleased to say that it is delicious, among my favorite things that I’ve made lately.

Just a note: the peanut butter filling is really the key to this cookie. If it’s too sweet, the entire cookie will be overwhelming, so it’s important to have the right balance of peanut butter flavor, and this is why I suggest adding additional peanut butter to taste as you go along. I added about two additional tablespoons to the 3/4 cup of peanut butter to achieve the flavor I wanted.

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.

Add egg, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix well.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture and beat until combined.

Using a one-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough onto prepared sheets at least 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.

Cool on wire racks completely before filling.

Peanut Butter Filling

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, plus additional tablespoons to taste
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and 3/4 cup peanut butter.

Add powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating until smooth.

Taste the filling and add additional peanut butter if desired.

To assemble cookies: using a one-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of filling onto the flat sides of half of the cookies, smooth with a knife, then top with another cookie.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Lemon Raspberry Whoopie Pies

lemon raspberry whoopiesSome of my fondest memories from our time in DC involve my dear friend Kelly. If I had a nickel for every time she and I went to Starbucks together, neither one of us would have to work anymore.

When we met, Kelly and I were 20-somethings working our fingers to the bone to establish ourselves professionally. During one lunchtime excursion, as a wedge of lemon sat on one of our plates, we discussed the challenges of working for a newly-merged nonprofit where the processes, procedures, lines of communication, and chains of command were still in development. We decided that it was sort of like being told to take care of a lemon, making that lemon into lemonade, then being told by a different supervisor that we should have made lemon pie, while another person wanted us to make lemon cookies. While this story is likely not funny to anyone but Kelly and me, we continue to reference it to this day.

Kelly has worked overseas for the past few years, and I’ve certainly missed her. Yesterday, during her visit to Pittsburgh, she and I made these lemon raspberry whoopie pies, which are admittedly more like lemon raspberry sandwich cookies. Either way, they involve lemons…in the best of senses.

Lemon Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and lemon zest until very light and fluffy.

Add egg, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.

Add half the flour mix, then buttermilk, then remaining flour mix, beating until just combined after each addition.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough at least 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets – they will spread when baking.

Bake for 11-13 minutes, until cookies are set.

Allow to cool completely before filling and assembling.

Raspberry Filling

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 7-ounce jar marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
  • 1 to 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

Combine butter, marshmallow fluff, jam, vanilla extract, raspberry extract, and 1 cup powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and beat well. Add another 1/3 cup powdered sugar if your mixture is too thin; you want an easily-spreadable consistency but not one that is too runny.

To assemble cookies: using a one-inch cookie scoop, scoop filling onto one half of each cookie and spread with a knife, leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges. Top with another cookie; filling will spread slightly. Store in the refrigerator.