Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting
I remember the first whoopie pie I ever made. After reading up on what exactly a whoopie pie consists of (it’s the best kind of cross between a slice of cake in cookie form), I knew I wanted to try combining two of my favorite flavors: chocolate and mint. I followed a by-the-book recipe from Bon Appetit and was pleasantly surprised at what I had created. Tasted like a rich thin mint and looked like a giant cake cookie. They were eaten in minutes.
This time, right as the leaves began to change and I had my first glass of apple cider, I knew I wanted to recreate another kind of whoopie pie but this time with a seasonal twist. A little over a month ago, I was fortunate enough to try a new line of products from Gourmet Garden, the lightly dried herbs. I adore the squeeze herbs and thought those were fun and easy to cook with - turns out, the lightly dried are even easier. They add a slightly punchier herb flavor to your dish, as most dry herbs do, but since they’re only lightly dried, they add a much appreciated texture, crunch and bite that dry herbs can’t provide.
For this recipe, I wanted to add Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Ginger to the frosting - something I’ve never tried before. I like ginger as much as the next person but never really experimented with it in my baking. Again, bad mistake on my part because the specks of ginger were harmonious with the cream cheese frosting. I could eat that frosting all day long. Well, I pretty much did eat that frosting all day long. Tip? Don’t make part 2 of a dessert while you’ve got part 1 in the oven. Why? Because you’ll eat a lot of part 2 and then be left with a very empty part 1 sitting on a baking sheet in your kitchen. Just speaking from experience.
I stuck to a traditional whoopie pie recipe, with the addition of canned pumpkin. You may have heard this before, but if you’re baking with pumpkin, make sure to read those labels. You want plain ol’ canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie spice or pumpkin pie filling. If you pick the latter, you will have a very different whoopie pie on your hands and who wants that?! Also, I’m the first to admit - this batch of whoopie pies wasn’t my smallest. I (yes, purposefully) made giant whoopie pies. Think of them as giant, sharable, spiced desserts.
I served my first cooled whoopee pie to a friend who was sitting at our kitchen counter watching me bake. As she devoured her gigantic dessert, she looked up at me in between bites and said, “You have to help me eat this. I can’t finish it on my own!” Ten minutes later, she put her fork down on an empty plate sprinkled with crumbs.
Share them. Don’t share them. Just please, make them before it’s suddenly time to start cooking with peppermint.