Monday, October 27, 2008

Makin' Whoopie with the Great Pumpkin

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What’s not to like about Halloween? Rubber fangs, barrels of free sugar, scratchy masks. The smashed pumpkins I can do without, though. They could have been contenders; they could have contributed to lovely treats. But their culinary lives were cut short by rambunctious ghouls. 

Why not go for the preemptive strike this year and decimate that pumpkin yourself before those little pipsqueaks get to it. Dig deep into the gourd and gather as much of that pulpy goodness and purée it like you mean it. The Great Pumpkin deserves so much better than to be stolen in the twilight hours and splattered into oblivion on your local roadways. Tell him how much you appreciate his contribution to our most  liberating of holidays and make some whoopie. Pies that is.

Pumpkin Cranberry Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

PIES:
2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup canola oil

3 cups pumpkin purée

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 scant teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup dried craisins
Preheat oven to 325

In a bowl, whisk together flour and dry ingredients.

In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat brown sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin purée until combined. Add vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients until just incorporated and then add your craisins.

Scoop with a large cookie scoop a few inches apart and bake until springy but not too dark. Allow to cook completely

FILLING:

2 packages cream cheese at room temperature

1 stick butter room temperature

1 cup maple syrup

Whip together cream cheese and butter until very smooth. Add maple slowly. Very slowly. After about half a cup, check for sweetness and texture. You want a firm filling so these puppies stay together. And you don’t want anything too sweet either. So add the syrup slowly because you may not need it all. Or you could need more. So check every now and again. Cool the filling to firm a bit and then, using a smaller cookie scoop that you used for the pumpkin cake, place a nice little dollop on the flat side of half a cookie and sandwich with another. YUMMY!

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