Sweet and Spicy Whoopie Pies
For the 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
For the Pumpkin Whoopie 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
Make the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; 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.
Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, 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.
Let cool completely on pan.
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. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance.
Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
Assemble the whoopie pies:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Transfer filling to a disposable pastry 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.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.
Pairs Well With
“We should have a sleepover soon!” shouted my over-exited and very loud cousin.
“Yes! Let’s go to Grammy and Papa’s house and sleep there! We can help them decorate their Christmas tree!” I suggested to my cousin Alana.
“Cool, we’ll ask them if we can go over there. I wonder if Julia and Abby will want to go, too.”
“I’ll ask Julia!”
“Okay! Got to go! Bye!”
It was three weeks before Christmas and a week before we actually went to our grandparents’ house. I kept planning in my head what we were going to do at their house. We could decorate their tree exactly how we want. We would get to choose whatever we want to eat for dinner. We would pick out the movie we would watch together. The weekend would be perfect.
Finally, it was the weekend. I packed up my clothes and bathing suit. I had to convince my sister, Julia, to come. Eventually, she decided she would. However, only Alana went with us, not her sister, Abby. I was a little bit disappointed at first, but the weekend would still be really fun.
When we got there, we went straight to the tree. It was only a couple feet taller than me, but it always is because it’s fake. My grandpa had already put on all the lights and it was ready
for us to place the ornaments in their perfect spots. We grabbed a couple in each one of our six hands and loaded up the shining tree with fake, colorful birds that made the tree look natural and
even more beautiful, thick and thin Santa’s with rounded and pointy hats, shimmering snowflakes, and many other shiny, hanging ornaments. We finished all the other ornaments and
started to hang my favorite kinds of ornaments, the icicles. They glimmered all along the tree. The colorful lights cast beams of light onto nearby walls through the icicles. Then, I placed the angel on the very top of the tree and plugged it in. It changed colors from red, to pink, to green, to blue and to purple. My grandparents, Julia, Alana and I stood in front of the completed Christmas tree admiring our hard work.
After that, Alana, Julia and I went to relax in the hot tub. We sat out and talked for a while. As we drank cool Shirley Temples, the hot steam rose into the chilling air and onto our smiling faces. Finally, we decided to go inside to dry off.
After dinner, which was delicious chicken, creamy mashed potatoes, and sweet corn from my favorite restaurant, we watched Elf to complete our night together. We had all seen it
before; however, it is one of our favorite movies. It was also an awesome movie to get us in the Christmas mood.
Julia, Alana and I slept on the couch and floor right next to the tree. It was lighting up
the entire room because the lights were so bright. We slept all night with dreams of Christmas, family, and our day in our heads. I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend with my grandparents. That experience was full of bonding time with my family that I will never forget.
Submitted by: "Jenna K."