I don't know about you but baking is one of the things that I look most forward to around the holidays. And with Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, I thought I'd share what I'm making this year for the dessert table. I've baked cakes and pies in the past for holidays but there's always so much left over and it's hard to dole out leftover cakes and pies because they're a little tricky to transport back home without getting smushed or soggy. So my alternative is to make desserts that guests are able to grab and go like cookies, handpies, and bars. This year's treat is Pumpkin Whoopie Pies! If you'd like to find out who to make them, just keep reading.
Before you start prepping, go ahead and preheat your oven to 350°. There's nothing worse than getting done with all the prep work and figuring out that you forgot to preheat the oven. Our's isn't super fast at preheating, so I always make sure I do this first. This is a good time to prep your cookie sheets also. I figured it would take more than one pan for a full recipe so I line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry cake mix, pumpkin puree, and 1/2 cup of oil. I use canola but use whatever oil you prefer for baking. I just used a silicone spatula instead of breaking out the mixer, but the mixer will be needed later on for the filling.
Next you'll want to scoop the dough onto the parchment lined cookie sheets. I used a cookie dough scoop that I already had on hand. But a regular spoon would work fine too. You just want to make sure they're all around the size of a walnut - but they don't have to be perfect!
Then just pop them in the oven and bake for about 14 minutes or until they spring back when you poke them with your finger. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
While the cookies are cooling, go ahead and start mixing up your filling. Now's the time to get your electric mixer out, whether it's a stand mixer or handheld one doesn't matter. I have a stand mixer that converts to a handheld that I love, so I used that. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the pudding mix, sugar, and milk and mix until smooth. Let this mixture stand for about 3 minutes to thicken up and then gently fold the whipped topping in with a silicone spatula.
After the cookies have completely cooled on the wire rack, it's time to pipe the filling! If you're fancy enough to have a pastry bag, use that. But I just use a plastic store bag and snip one of the corners off. Either way is fine!
One trick I learned from watching Martha Stewart for several years is, whether you're using a pastry bag or a storage bag, place it in a tall drinking glass with the top folded over the sides so that the bag stays open and upright while you're filling it. Once you get the bag pretty full, take it out of the glass and snip off one of the corners and work the filling down to the opening.
Pipe a swirl of filling onto the bottom of one of the cookies and then place another cookie on top (bottom facing the filling) to make a sandwich - or in this case a whoopie pie!
I hope you found this recipe enticing and please let me know if you try it by tagging #ralhousewives on social media. I've also included a printable copy of the recipe for those that are interested. What other treats are you adding to the dessert table this year? Do you have a standby recipe that you make year after year? Or do you try something new every year? Let us know in the comments!