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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling

These little portable pumpkin pies are delicious. Be sure to buy plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.

For the cookies:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) soft butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

For the filling:
6 tablespoons soft butter
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups confectioners' sugar

For the cookies: Position 2 racks in the middle and upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Put the butter and sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 minute until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.

Decrease the speed to low and mix in the sour cream and pumpkin just until combined. Add the flour mixture and blend just until it is incorporated. Stir in the walnuts.

Drop 28 rounded tablespoons of batter 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. The batter is thick enough to hold its mound shape on the sheets.

Bake 2 sheets of cookies for about 12 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cookies comes out clean. Reverse the baking sheets after 7 minutes, front to back and top to bottom, to ensure that the cookies bake evenly. Immediately bake the third sheet of cookies. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheets. Use a wide metal spatula to loosen them from the paper, then cool them thoroughly on the sheets.

Fill the cookies: Put the butter, cream cheese and vanilla in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed for about 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined. Decrease the speed to low and add the confectioners sugar in 2 additions. Beat until it is incorporated and the frosting is smooth, about 1 minute.

Use a thin metal spatula to spread a slightly rounded tablespoon of cream cheese filling over the flat bottoms of half the cooled cookies. Press the flat bottoms of the remaining cookies on the cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate until the frosting is firm, about 30 minutes. Makes 14 3-inch filled cookies.

"125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble and Savor"
by Elinor Klivans

Thursday, October 12, 2000

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