living away from home gets hard sometimes. i miss my family and our friends. i miss the beach and sunshine. and of course i miss the food.
but living away from home is a million times easier when you have a family away from home. my ohana, a group of gw friends is my family away from home. a few of us all met in freshmen year and along they way we have added to our ohana. most of us are from hawaii but others are from california, hong kong, pensylvania, and maine. even though we’re not in school anymore and everyone is living across the country (and world) we all try to keep in touch and those in town get together for monthly ohana dinners. i <3 my ohana.
and the same way that you have extended family, we also have an extended ohana. a few years ago, we started doing an extended ohana thanksgiving where a bunch of our friends from hawaii and ohana got together for a thanksgiving potluck before thanksgiving (since everyone usually had separate plans). last night we had our extended ohana thanksgiving and it was so much fun catching up, eating lots of super delicious food, and just talking story.
for extended ohana thanksgiving, i made chinese chicken salad and pumpkin whoopie pies with maple cream cheese. i told you there would be more pumpkin recipes! haha. i love that this is a fall time spin on traditional whoopie pies. the cake cookies are super pumpkin-y and the cream cheese filling is lovely. but the maple flavor isn’t really too strong. i actually couldn’t really taste it so i would add more if you definitely want it maple flavored or you could even leave it out (i didn’t miss the maple flavor, the whoopie pies were just fine without it).
oh and as you can see i ended up making two different sized whoopie pies – by accident. i didn’t read the instructions carefully and automatically started using my larger cookie scoop (the one that i usually use for cupcakes) to spoon out the cookies. so i ended up making 6 large whoopie pies and the rest were almost mini ones. i think something in the middle would be best but i did prefer the mini ones. they were the perfect little bite of pumpkin cream cheese goodness.
here are the cookies for the monster whoopie pies – perfect sharing…
you’ll also notice that the tops of the large whoopie pies are kind of pokey and bumpy. these cookies really hold the shape that they are scooped out in and they don’t spread much. so whatever the batter looks like when the cookies go into the oven, that’s how they will come out. but i found a way to make them smooth. use your finger tip dipped in water (the water will keep the batter from sticking to your finger) to smooth out the tops of the cookies. they won’t be perfect but it will take care of most of the bumpiness.
once you’re done baking all the cookies and making the maple cream cheese filling, it’s time to assemble the pumpkin cream cheese whoopie pies!
then you’re done! all pau!
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling
from Brown Eyed Baker
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 3 cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple-Cream Cheese Filling
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
- Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.
- To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used.
- Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.
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