Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making Whoopie

Forgive the title; I couldn't help myself. 

With pumpkin spice season fully upon us, I couldn't wait to try out Martha Stewart's mini chocolate and pumpkin whoopie pies for a festive fall pumpkin carving party.  At first I thought it might be a little sadistic to bring pumpkin snacks to a pumpkin carving...but I got over it.

Although whoopie pies seem to be enjoying a surge in popularity recently--some even suggesting they are "the new cupcake"--I was shocked to discover how many of my friends had actually never even heard of whoopie pies.  "You're making pumpkin WHAT?" was the typical response.

If you are a whoopie novice, probably the best way to describe them is similar in concept to an oatmeal cream pie, but with cake instead of oatmeal cookies.  Some may try to tell you that a whoopie pie is a Moon Pie. They are NOT Moon Pies.  If you're getting technical, Moon Pies are commercial sandwiches of graham cookie and marshmallow creme dipped in chocolate whereas the whoopie is all cake and frosting.  I'd like to say that these whoopie pies were a total hit at the party, but there may have been an unfortunate forgetting-them-in-the-fridge incident.  Oops.  But *I* can tell you that they were delicious...I had about 6 of them.  Oops. 

For residents of the DMV, whoopies have officially invaded the area--get your fix from B. Hall, an area baker specializing exclusively in whoopie pies or also from pop-up baker Whoops! Bakeshop currently hawking pies at Mid City Caffe until hopefully opening a storefront next year.

A couple of notes: 1)  if you're using a dark metal pan you may want to reduce your oven temp. 2) Try to flatten your batter rounds a little bit as they tend to bake up rather than out. 3) These are MINI whoopie pies, people, so portion control on the batter.  Believe me, I know it's hard.  Or you could just get this whoopie pie pan from Williams-Sonoma.

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  makes about 20 sandwiches

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1. Prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Place butter, shortening, and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla. Mix in remaining flour mixture.

3. Drop about 2 teaspoons dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies spring back when lightly touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cool 10 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets and transfer to wire racks using a spatula; let cool completely.

4. Prepare filling: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese, butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg; whip until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

5. Pipe or spoon about 2 teaspoons filling on the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, keeping the flat sides down.

1 comment:

  1. This look delish. I should have grabbed one before we left for the party when I had the chance!