Let the Tastes of the Holidays begin!  Pumpkin Puree is a delicious ingredient to feature in your holiday recipes, and it’s easy to make.  All you need is to roast a pie pumpkin and blend it with vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.  I made Pumpkin Puree for the first time, and it is delicious!  Quite honestly, I was never really a fan of anything with pumpkin…until now!! Click on this Kitchen Chat video to learn how.  As always, things are dropping and popping in my kitchen, but I am having so much fun sharing this culinary journey with you.  If I can do it, you can too!

Homemade is Heartmade.  For your foodie friends, consider giving Pumpkin Puree as a hostess gift in a Ball Jar and attach a recipe for making a special dish.

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You will love the recipe for Pumpkin Bread by Audra the Baker Chick.  So easy to make!  I actually made two loaves of mini pumpkin bread using her recipe.  My family enjoyed it so much, that I did an encore performance the following day.  This makes a great gift for neighbors, friends, and teachers.  And it looks so pretty to serve at the holiday breakfast or brunch table.

Pumpkin Puree: A delicious hostess gift

 

For the dessert table, impress your guests with Dorie Greenspan‘s recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Dulce de Leche from her new book Dorie’s Cookies.   You will use 1/2 cup of your pumpkin puree. And enjoy my kitchen chat with Dorie! https://kitchenchat.info/2642/dorie-greenspans-cookies-making-the-world-a-sweeter-place/

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I actually prepared homemade dulce de leche!  A few thoughts about this process.  Be prepared to stir!  It took over 1 1/2 hours for my dulce de leche.  Mid process, I had to deal with some unexpected globs because I should have been using a whisk, so I poured everything through a strainer and then kept stirring.  Here is my video instruction for homemade dulce de leche:

Thank you, Dorie Greenspan for sharing your recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Dulce de Leche!  Here is a link to her cookbook and also her recipe!


Dorie Greenspan’s Recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Dulce De Leche Filling

From her new cookbook:  Dorie’s Cookies, (copyright 2016 by Dorie Greenspan) pages 309-311

 

I liked these big pumpkin-spice cookies when I first made them and thought of them as cookies. But when I sandwiched them with a marshmallow crème and dulce de leche filling, officially turning them into whoopie pies, “like” became too mild a word for how I felt about them. They passed over into love ’em territory, and they’ve stayed there ever since.

The cookies themselves have the soft, light texture and flavor of spice cake. In fact, they’d be exactly like spice cake if they didn’t have the surprise of fresh cranberries, which, in addition to adding color and pop, have just the right the amount of pucker to make the sweet a grown-up dessert.

As for the filling, sticky, sweet fluff is a must. It’s just about part of the definition of whoopie pies. For these, it’s paired with store-bought or homemade dulce de leche. It’s the perfect combo, but when you’re ready for a swap, sandwich the cookies with a spiced cream cheese filling.

A word on size and pans: I’m Goldilocks when it comes to whoopie pies — I like them not too big and not too small. For me, baking them in muffin tins is just right. You can scoop the dough out onto lined baking sheets and bake the cookies free-form if you’d like — they’ll be fine, though not perfectly round. If for you a whoopie pie isn’t a whoopie pie unless it’s the size of a Whopper, see Playing Around and go for it.

 

Makes 16 cookies

 

For the whoopie pies

13⁄4 cups (238 grams) all-purpose flour

3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature

3⁄4 cup (150 grams) sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 large egg, at room temperature

11⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1⁄2 cup (113 grams) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1⁄2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, preferably at room temperature

3⁄4 cup (about 75 grams) fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped (if frozen, don’t thaw)

 

For the filling

1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature

1 cup (96 grams) marshmallow crème (or Marshmallow Fluff)

1⁄4 cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar

Pinch of fine sea salt

1⁄4 cup (75 grams) dulce de leche, homemade or store-bought

 

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray two standard muffin tins (do this even if the tins are nonstick).

To make the cookies: Whisk the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until creamy. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the pumpkin puree and beat until it’s fully incorporated; don’t be discouraged when the mixture curdles — it will soon smooth out. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the bowl and add half of the dry ingredients. Pulse to begin the mixing and then mix on low, scraping the bowl as needed, until the flour mixture is blended in. Beat in the buttermilk. Turn off the mixer, add the remaining dry ingredients, pulse and then mix on low until you have a lovely smooth batter. Switch to a flexible spatula and fold in the cranberries. Don’t be too thorough — it’s better to have an uneven mix than to break the berries and turn the batter red.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of dough, or use a tablespoon to get rounded spoonfuls, and fill the muffin tins. The scoops of dough will sit upright in the center of the tins, but when baked they’ll melt evenly into the cups.

Bake the whoopie pies for 11 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back after 6 minutes, or until they are puffed, golden brown and springy to the touch. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cookies rest for 5 minutes, then turn them out on the racks and allow them to cool completely.

To make the filling: Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, marshmallow crème, sugar and salt together on medium-high speed, scraping the bowl and beater(s) as needed, for about 3 minutes, until very smooth. Lower the mixer speed, add the dulce de leche and beat until thoroughly blended.

Using a spoon or a small cookie scoop, place the filling on the flat sides of half of the cookies; sandwich with the other cookies, flat sides down. The cookies can be eaten now, but the filling benefits from a 30-minute stay in the refrigerator. Just don’t eat them from the fridge — you’ll deprive yourself of the cookies’ wonderful texture.

 

Playing Around

Whopper-Size Whoopie Pies. If you use a large cookie scoop (one with a capacity of 3 tablespoons) to portion out the dough, you can make 6 really big pies (12 cookies; 6 pies). These bake best when you use an insulated baking sheet or stack two sheets one on top of the other. Line the (top) sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and bake the cookies for

15 to 17 minutes.

 

Storing

The unfilled cookies can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 1 day. Once filled, they can be kept covered in the refrigerator for a day or two, but they’re really best the day they’re made.

What are your favorite tastes of the holidays?  Please leave a comment below.

 

Savor the day!

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