Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional; substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- For Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone mat.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices in a bowl.
- Whisk together sugar, oil, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla in a separate large bowl until well combined, then stir in flour mixture.
- Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or tablespoon measure, drop a scant scoop's worth of batter or 2 scant tablespoons of batter onto a lined baking sheet to form 1 mound. Make 15 more mounds, arranging them 2 inches apart until baking sheet is full (you will have batter left over).
- Bake until springy to the touch, 12 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookie-cakes to rack to cool.
- Form and bake remaining batter on the other parchment-lined sheet. Try to end with an even amount.
- For Filling: While cookie-cakes are baking, beat cream cheese, butter, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar and bourbon and mix on low speed until smooth.
- Chill filling until firm enough to hold its shape when spread, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Assembling: Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of filling each on flat side of half the cooled cookie-cakes, then top with other half of cookie-cakes. If necessary, chill whoopie pies just long enough to firm up filling again, about 30 minutes.
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