Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Makes 12-14 Pies
Adapted from Baked 

For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cloves
Pinch of ground nutmeg 
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, blended
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree*

For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon maple extract 
3 cups powdered sugar 

*Make sure the pumpkin puree has been sitting in the fridge for at least 2 hours to get nice and cold. It helps the pies stay poufy and round when you bake them.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the brown sugars and oil together until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Scrap down the bowl. Add in the chilled pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Scrap down the bowl again. Add the flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined. Scrap down the bowl one last time so that you get everything nicely and evenly mixed

Using an ice cream scoop with a release feature or using a regular ice cream scoop combined with a spoon, drop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. They don't need to be perfect, they just need to all be similar in size since you are going to sandwich them. They are still going to taste incredible. You should be able to fit 12 cookies onto each sheet. Don't worry, they won't spread all that much. 

Bake the whoopies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick or kebab skewer (which is what we have on hand) inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the frosting.

For the cream cheese frosting, whip together the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer...easier than using the Kitchen Aid again and a lot less clean up. Mix these together until smooth and lump free. They will still be pretty thick.

Add in the vanilla and maple extracts. Mix quickly until combined.

Then, sift into the bowl using a sieve, the powdered sugar. Gently mix together the sugar and the butter-cream cheese mixture. Don't over-mix. Stop when the frosting looks thick lick packaged tub frostings but can still be spread slightly. Remember that the more you beat this type of frosting, the silkier and softer it gets. We want it to hold a shape when it's in the whoopie pies. 

Spread the frosting in heaping tablespoons full gently onto one cookie half and top with another, similarly sized cookie. Press down slightly using a turning motion so that the frosting filling spreads out to the edges. Repeat until all the cookies are used.

Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving. Store them in the fridge for up to 3 days, covered tightly in plastic wrap. They will stick to a plate over time so you might want to put parchment paper on the serving plate as well.