Consider these small pumpkin whoopie pies. Just the smell of them baking makes you want to curl up with a mug of mulled cider.
For perfectly round, bite-size cookies, pipe the dough in 1-inch rounds through a piping bag with no tip attached. Pipe onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, space the dough rounds 1 inch apart.
Make Ahead: The cookie sandwiches be made assembled, covered and refrigerated for 3 days. Unfilled cookies can be cooled completely, individually wrapped with plastic wrap and frozen for a month. Defrost, still wrapped, for 30 minutes at room temperature before filling. The filling can be assembled and refrigerated up to to 4 days in advance. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.
Servings: 16 - 30
Yield: Makes 30 bite-size sandwich cookies or about sixteen 2-inch sandwich cookies
- For the cookies
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup packed (light or dark) light brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup 100-percent pure canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup whole or low-fat milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar sifted, plus more for optional dusting
For the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready 2 ungreased baking sheets.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice blend, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Combine the brown sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, until creamy. Stop to add the pumpkin puree, milk, egg and vanilla extract; beat on medium-low spead for 2 minutes, until all ingredients are incorporated. Reduce the speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
Drop level tablespoonfuls of dough onto each baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart (the cookies do not spread much). Bake one sheet at a time, for 9 to 12 minutes or until set; they should spring back when lightly pressed. Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet; then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat to use all the dough, making a total of 60 cookies.
To make 2-inch cookies, drop 2-tablespoon amounts of dough on the sheets. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until set and springy to the touch. Cool as directed above; repeat to use all the dough, making a total of 32 cookies.
For the filling: Combine the cream cheese, butter, cinnamon and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat at medium speed 3 minutes until smooth, stopping often to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar, or up to 4 cups as needed, beating well after each addition until the mixture is creamy. (More sugar means a stiffer filling.)
Turn half the cookies flat-sides up. Spread each one with 2 teaspoons of the filling, then top with the remaining cookies. If desired, dust the tops of the cookies with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
Adapted from a 2009 Land O' Lakes recipe.
Tested by Leigh Lambert.
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