Tried and Tested: Whoopie Pumpkin Pies

Posted by & filed under chocolate, Food Network, pumpkin, tried and tested, whoopie pie.

I’ve said it time and again… I’m a huge fan of Food Network. Some weekends, I do nothing but watch hour after hour of food programming. It is, perhaps, my guiltiest pleasure. (Well, okay, besides Nutella). As if I couldn’t become any more obsessive, I’ve actually gotten worse since the network launched a magazine. Now I come home, compulsively check the mailbox and get absolutely giddy when I see my favorite chefs and a delicious dish on the glossy cover. So, it should come as no surprise that The Neely’s Whoopie Pumpkin Pies moved to the top of my “must bake” list from the second the fall issue made its way into in my hot little hands.

Normally, I try to tweak recipes and put my TRB “stamp” on them. In this case, I was skeptical about how the chocolate, devil-dog-like cookie would work with the pumpkin filling — which does taste a lot like pumpkin pie — so I opted to leave well enough alone. When you take that first bite, the cake-y chocolate immediately hits your palate, followed by the pumpkin, cinnamon and cream cheese flavors in the filling. On the second bite, it becomes amazingly clear how well these ingredients complement each another and it’s difficult to stop there.

The next time I make this recipe, I’ll mix it up a little with a coffee buttercream filling. I have a hunch that it’ll take these moist, scrumptious pies *just* over the edge.

Whoopie Pumpkin Pies  
(The Neelys, Food Network Magazine)

For the cookies:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of Kosher salt

For the filling: 
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of Kosher salt

1. Make the cookies: Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper (or use 2 baking sheets and bake the cookies in batches). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.

2. Drop 8 scoops of batter, about 2 tbsp. each onto each prepared baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart. Bake until the edges are set but the cookies are still soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to racks and let them cool completely.

3. Make the filling: Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners sugar until smooth. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon and salt and beat until smooth.

4. Assemble the whoopie pies: Spread a heaping tablespoon of filling onto the flat side of one cookie and top with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. (Makes about 12 whoopie pies).

Do you love whoopie pies? What’s your favorite flavor? Will you give this recipe a try? Post a comment below.

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