Pumpkin whoopie pies and creative variations

Whoopie pies are one of those snacks I loved growing up. The Korean version that is less artisinal and more mass produced is the choco pie. Incorporating pumpkins only brings this snack to another level. “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis, cartoonist.

Surprise them with a pumpkin whoopie pie

A pumpkin pie a day will definitely keep the doctor away. Pumpkin pies can always be found in my parent’s refrigerator this time of year. Talk about a breakfast of champions – pumpkin pie slice, bacon, and coffee. When it comes to pumpkin pie I’m all good with anything even Costco’s, which pumps out millions of them around the holidays.

One of my good friends, Jen Stone, whipped up a masterpiece for dessert. A couple of weeks ago we were talking about my childhood obsession with whoopie pies aka moon pies aka choco pies. And she already knew that I am obsessed with pumpkin style desserts. The other day I walked into her apartment for dinner with her and her husband (and my boy), Matty Stone. She had this smile on her face, one of those odd smiles that give off the vibe that someone is hiding something.

“I made you something … I made you pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese filling!!”

I practically fell out of my seat. If I wasn’t so well-mannered and did not want to wake up half of the block, I probably would have taken my shirt off (like a helicopter) and run around their apartment rejoicing “wwwaaahhhoooo!”

Pumpkin whoopies! (from brooklynimbecile.wordpress.com)

Pumpkin whoopie pies rock

Her pumpkin whoopie pies were simply delicious. The whoopie pie itself was like a fluffy, soft and thick cookie fresh from the oven. Immediately those familiar Fall spices shine through – ginger, cloves, and cinnamon with that pumpkin – and the dessert overall is not too sweet in taste. The decadent cream cheese filling provides even more body to an already dense dessert and brings to the table a subtle vanilla flavor. Talk about just about perfect. Don’t be fooled by its childish appeal, this is one elegant dessert.

Here’s a sample recipe that Jen followed:

Pumpkin whoopie pie recipe from Serious Eats

Variations of the pumpkin whoopie pie

Lifting a pumpkin whoopie pie into further realms of creativity can be easily achieved with some playing around. Here are a few ideas for variation:

  • Add semi-sweet chocolate chips and/or minced Reese’s pieces into either the filling or whoopie
  • I know I cliche this to the max, but throw in some crispy bacon for that pork goodness and crunchy texture
  • Go Korean and incorporate some of the elements of a tradition Korean porridge soup by folding in pine nuts (or any nut for that matter) and azuki/red beans
  • Make it savory by replacing the cream cheese filling with a ricotta & mascarpone cheese filling. Then proceed to make a “sandwich” by adding tomato, sage pesto, braised lamb meat, and apricots
  • Rather than the cream cheese filling, go Mexican and make a sour cream (crema) filling infused with charred poblano chilies. Stuff into the whoopie pie sandwich spicy pulled chicken, salsa, queso fresco, cilantro or whatever Beyond the Border goods you crave and have on hand
  • To go even further down this path, cut the pumpkin whoopie pies into small pieces. Layer it with phyllo dough and baklava stuffing to make a pumpkin whoopie baklava
  • Bring in nature – lavender with dried fruits or sprinkle in some rose water with fresh fruits

Thanks again Jen and you best make pumpkin whoopie pies again soon

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