WHOOPIE! | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

WHOOPIE!

Celebrating taste of autumn goodness, goodies

Posted: October 12, 2011 - 7:16pm
These whoopie pies have a praline cream cheese filling and edges that have been rolled in toasted chopped pecans.
These whoopie pies have a praline cream cheese filling and edges that have been rolled in toasted chopped pecans.

Which came first, the cupcake or the macaroon? Or did pie beat them in the race to be the trendy treat of the moment?

 

Maybe it doesn’t matter. The hot sweet now is the whoopie pie, those delicious oversized cake-like cookies sandwiching a fluffy, sugary filling.

While chocolate cookies with vanilla frosting are traditional, whoopie pies come in just as many wild flavor combinations as cupcakes, macaroons and pies.

For our fall whoopie pie, we looked to three autumn favorites — gingerbread, pumpkin and pecan pie. Gingerbread lends itself perfectly to the shell of a whoopie pie. It is, after all, still cake. And pumpkin marries so beautifully with the spices of gingerbread that we couldn’t leave it out.

But for the filling, we wanted to get away from traditional fluffy vanilla frosting. So we opted for a praline cream cheese filling and rolled the edges in toasted chopped pecans for a treat that’s reminiscent of a creamy pecan pie.  

Pecan Pumpkin Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Start to finish: 1 hour

Makes 20 small or 10 large pies

For the cakes:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups packed dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of 1 orange

2 tablespoons minced candied ginger

2 eggs

15-ounce can pumpkin puree

For the filling:

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese

1 cup Marshmallow Fluff

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and allspice. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, oil, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla. Add the orange zest, candied ginger and eggs, then beat to combine. Beat in the pumpkin puree. Stir in the flour mixture until thoroughly mixed.

Drop by the dough in mounds (1/4 cup for large or 2 tablespoons for small) onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving several inches between each for spreading. You should make 20 or 40 cakes, depending on whether you want small or large whoopie pies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cakes feel slightly firm to the touch. Allow to fully cool before filling.  

To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, Fluff, butter, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Drop a large spoonful onto the flat side of half of the cakes. Use a second cake to top each, pressing the flat sides together.

Place the pecans in a large, wide bowl, then roll the edge of each whoopie pie in the pecans to coat. Refrigerate in an airtight container.