Each morning during October we have dozens of preschool through first grade students visit the farm to learn about pumpkins, take a hayride, and do some harvesting of their own! Before departing, we always talk to the students about the sorts of things they can do with the pumpkins once they bring them home. There’s always a chorus of suggestions, ranging from jack-o-lanterns and other decorations, to pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup. And one kid always seems to yell out, “Apple Pie!” with an excitement that quickly dissipates.
This morning I had several students yell out, “PUMPKIN SANDWICHES!” as a recipe suggestion. I had to give a lot of thought to this one. Whole wheat bread with peanut butter and pumpkin butter? Pumpkin bread french toast stuffed with spiced cream cheese? Two slices of white bread with a giant pumpkin in the middle? I’m not sure.
In the end, I chose this recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies for today because it is a sandwich (of sorts), and because they are INCREDIBLY delicious. My mouth is watering as I type.
Have any other ideas for pumpkin sandwiches? Send them my way!
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
from Martha Stewart
Makes 12 whoopie pies
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
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
- 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.