I thought I’d start this week off with a fun Halloween party treat: Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies! These tiny 2 inch treats are impossible to resist with a rich, moist chocolate cake lightly spiced with cinnamon, ginger and clove sandwiched around a creamy smooth pumpkin filling perfect for the season.
To make these mini treats even more adorable I topped them off with a simple powdered sugar jack o’ lantern stenciled on the tops. Looking at a tray full of these grinning pumpkins will put a smile on everyone’s face before they even taste one.
Here is how you can make your own mini holiday treat:
You can find the entire recipe here. I made the filling the night before I assembled the whoopie pies to give the filling flavors time to mingle and let the texture firm up a bit before piping. I also added more spice than the recipe calls for as I like a really spicy pumpkin-pie flavored filling. I also added spices to the cookie batter: 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. ground ginger and 1 tsp. clove.
Filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the room temperature butter and the powdered sugar for around 2 to 3 minutes.
When the butter and powdered sugar are completely smooth, beat in the room temperature cream cheese for another minute or two. I find that beating the butter and powdered sugar together first keeps the lumps out of the finished product.
Add the pumpkin and spices (I used 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice) and mix to combine. Transfer filling to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
Cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment or silpat. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt (I added 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp. ground ginger and 1 tsp. clove). It is important to really sift these ingredients together as I find that the cocoa powder has a tendency to have little lumps that don’t always fully incorporate into the batter if not sifted before hand. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter, shortening and sugars until smooth.
Mix in the egg until batter becomes pale and fluffy. Mix in half the flour mixture with the milk and vanilla. Beat in the rest of the flour mixture.
At this point you can refrigerate the dough for 15 or 20 minutes before baking as the chilled dough is a little easier to scoop out. I used a #70 scoop for these whoopie pie which creates a 2 inch baked cookie and you can bake 12 cookies per baking sheet for approximately 12 minutes baking time (Depending on the size of your cookies, baking time will be anywhere from 12 to 14 minutes.)
Let baked cookies cool on rack completely before assembling.
Assembly: Pair up all your cooled cookies, a bottom and a top. Turn the all the bottoms flat side up and pipe filling on each bottom.
If you decide to use a stencil on your cookie tops, place stencil over the tops of cookies and generously sift powdered sugar over stencil to cover. I made a PDF of the stencil I used that you can download here.
Carefully remove stencil and repeat on all remaining cookie tops. Sandwich all cookie tops and bottoms together and press slightly to adhere.