Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving 101 Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Baked’s Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Thanksgiving Desserts at our house
From left to right: Caramel Apple Pie, Sables, Pear and Honey Cake,
Southern Pecan Pie, Chocolate Tart

         Chewing the Fat gets regular read-outs of what people are looking at and searching for most.  It came as no great surprise that, hands down, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies have been a big drawing card this Thanksgiving. So today I thought I'd share this easy recipe that's a real crowd pleaser--especially if children are in the crowd.  So here goes.
         Andrew’s idea of a good time is to bake enough Holiday treats for four to five times the number of people who are actually coming to our house for the Holidays. As you can see from his beautiful dessert table, he truly excels in his efforts.  Last year at Thanksgiving, we were 14 all told.  Andrew made 5 desserts.  Well, he actually made 6 but one was deemed not good enough to serve.  The day after Thanksgiving I had a piece of his rejected Sage-Crusted Lemon Pie.  It tasted fabulous although I would concur that everything else did too. The lemon tart suffered from not setting properly.  So it was not served.  I suppose looking at the dessert table you’re likely thinking “Well, where are the promised Pumpkin Whoopie Pies?”  Well guess what? They weren’t there.  The advertised Pumpkin treats were something Andrew made the day after Thanksgiving to take to our friends’ Monique and Curtis’ Leftover Party.

         Leftovers?  Well, he stretched the rules.  In truth there was so little leftover from our Thanksgiving feast that he felt compelled to break out the Kitchen-Aid and go at it once again so that Monique and Curtis had plenty to offer their guests, among them some 9 children and 13 adults.  So, in addition to slices of Caramel Apple Pie, Chocolate Tart, Pear and Honey Cake, Southern Pecan Pie and Sables, he brought along a batch of these wonderfully seasonal Pumpkin treats.  They don’t appear to me to be terribly difficult to make.  There’s just a couple of things to remember. 1. Do not use pumpkin pie filling, use pumpkin puree.  2. Do not ice the pies until they are cool or you risk melting the delicious cream cheese frosting.  And 3. Make a lot of them, especially if you have lots of kids to entertain.
       The recipe is from those genius bakers at Baked, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliofito whose tenth appearance on this blog was earlier this month.  This makes number eleven.  Here’s the recipe:
Recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies courtesy of Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

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.


  1. Perfect perfect perfect! We have little baby nieces and nephews who do not like Pumpkin pie, and we have a ton of pumpkin puree left! One problem solved, 1200 to go!! Thank you Monte - this is exactly what this morning was missing, some help!

  2. Ana, these will go over even with your non-pumpkin pie fans. I just wish I had pictures of the kids eating these. They were a huge hit.