OK I lied. Hazelnut espresso toffee is not going to be my first post. I just can’t wait. I’m that excited. Until I get my toffee making supplies in order, I thought I would share a recipe that I made in October that produced plenty to go around. It was a big hit with the neighbors.
The recipe is out of a book called Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by two dudes who own Baked in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn. Even if you’re baking-challenged you can enjoy this book. It’s beautiful.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Whoopie Cushions (the cookies)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
- 2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- This was the first time I made this recipe, but if I did it again, I’d put a little something extra in the filling – maple syrup (not too much it needs to be firm), crystallized ginger pieces, nuts. Anything with a warm flavor to complement the pumpkin.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated. You really don’t want to whisk this by hand. The key is to whisk for about 2-5 minutes longer than you probably think you should. Everything needs to be well combined and fluffy.
- Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. This is an extremely cakey cookie….not really a cookie at all. Think Oreo Cakesters, but BETTER.
- Make the filling: Sift confectioner’ sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. I made my filling a day before the cookies. To do this just cover and refrigerate. Let it stand at room temperature while you make the cookies, or while the cookies or cooling. If you don’t it will be too firm and gloop out of your exploding pastry bag, or ziploc with a whole cut in the corner.
- Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag (aka freezer bag) and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. I know it’s hard to wait for the cookies to cool completely, but trust me, the filling is surprisingly not better all warm and runny…unless it’s on a toaster pastry of some sort. The recipe suggests transfering to a prepared baking sheet and covering with plastic wrap to refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days. I definitely did not wait 30 minutes after the 30 it took for the cookies to cool, and they were gone in 1 day.
Eventually I will make something quasi-healthy.