Make whoopies with pumpkin

San Francisco ChronicleOctober 30, 2012 

  • Pumpkin Caramel Whoopie Pies You can bake the cakes a day in advance and store them at room temperature. Once the whoopie pies are assembled, refrigerate them in an airtight container; they will stay fresh for a couple of days. CARAMEL FILLING 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 1/2 cup cold caramel sauce, homemade or store bought 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened Large pinch kosher salt CAKE 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 large eggs 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 3/4 cup pumpkin puree ASSEMBLY 2 tablespoons finely diced candied (crystallized) ginger 1/4 cup cocoa nibs, optional (see Note) MAKE the filling, mixing all the ingredients for the filling together until incorporated. The filling can be made ahead and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before assembling. MOVE racks to the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. STIR together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. WHISK together the eggs, sugars, oil and pumpkin puree in a separate bowl. ADD dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until blended. LINE two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1-tablespoon mounds of batter a couple inches apart on the baking sheets. You can fit 15 on an 11-by-16-inch rimmed baking sheet. BAKE 10-12 minutes until firm to the touch, rotating and switching the pans about halfway through if necessary. COOL to room temperature before assembling. The cakes can be made ahead. ASSEMBLE by spooning a slightly heaping tablespoon of the filling on the underside (flat side) of half the cookies. Place a second cookie on top to complete the whoopie pie. COMBINE the ginger and the nibs, if using, on a small plate. Press some onto the sides of the whoopie pies to cover the filling. REFRIGERATE – tightly sealed – until ready to serve. NOTE: Cocoa nibs are available in the baking or chocolate aisle of some supermarkets. If you can’t find them, omit them. Yield: 15 pies PER PIE: 335 calories, 4 g protein, 45 g carbohydrate, 17 g fat (6 g saturated), 53 mg cholesterol, 290 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

A whoopie pie is like an inside-out cupcake – cake on the outside and frosting in the middle. It looks like a sandwich cookie, but has a cake consistency. It’s the best of both worlds.

It’s easier to eat than a cupcake, because the frosting is tucked neatly between the layers.

The quintessential whoopie pie is chocolate cake with a white frosting, often made of marshmallow fluff. Purists scoff at other flavors, but this is a dessert that lends itself to numerous variations.

Pumpkin is especially good because pumpkin puree guarantees the cookies will be soft – crucial to whoopie texture. Plus it’s a seasonal flavor that makes the pies perfect for Halloween parties or post trick-or-treat get-togethers, for adult tastes as well as kids’.

Whoopie pies are easy to make. Sugar pumpkin puree is delicious when you go to the trouble to make it, but canned pumpkin is easy and more consistent. Don’t buy the canned pumpkin with added spices. It’s much better to have control over the amount of cinnamon and ginger you want.

After you pull the cakes from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet. I put the baking sheet on a cool stovetop or large, thick bamboo trivets so air circulation gets around it.

You can bake the cakes a day before assembling the whoopie pies; store them unfilled at room temperature. Once the pies are assembled, refrigerate them in an airtight container. They’ll stay fresh a couple of days.

For a printable version of the recipe, click the link:

Pumpkin Caramel Whoopie Pies

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