The Great Pumpkin!

October 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Over the last month or so, pumpkin has been emerging both in the supermarkets and on the internet, like clockwork as it does each fall. While Thanksgiving traditions should (and will) be given their own post, one thing that is traditionally missing on my family’s Thanksgiving table has always been pumpkin pie. Gasp…I know. That’s right, no pumpkin pie and usually no pie in general. We are much more a cake family that occasionally detours towards cobbles, crumbles and buckles when seasonal fruit is involved. Perhaps it’s that reason alone that pumpkin pie has just never appealed to me.

My pumpkin memories come instead from my best friend’s mom’s pumpkin bread. I still recall the smell of it baking and us gobbling down as much as we could get our hands on when it was still warm from the oven. While I don’t recall how old I was, at some point I copied her recipe on an index card in bubbly child’s handwriting. I still use the card today and smile over the ingredient list when I come to 3 cups flower. As soon as I buy another loaf pan (and find storage for it my studio apartment kitchen), I plan to whip up a batch this season but in the meantime, I couldn’t resist some doing something the jar of Libby’s pumpkin I picked up on an autumnal whim on my last trip to the grocery store.

Enter one of my favorite dessert sources: Baked. This recipe from the first Baked cookbook actually came to me via another tried and true source Martha Stewart. I halved the recipe as my fridge can only hold so many pumpkin whoopie pies and came out with about a dozen large whoopie pies. Admittedly my decision to make this particular version of whoopie pie was most definitely based on the cream cheese icing, which I believe can be considered a dessert in itself. Leftover icing in my kitchen means finding any appropriate vehicle with which to consume it. Graham crackers and teddy grahams while low brow serve this function surprisingly well…

But back to the whoopie pies! They bake very quickly – no more than 10-12 minutes – and come out very soft and cake-like. The tang of the frosting was the perfect complement to the sweetness of the pumpkin. Next time, I may miniaturize them even more than suggested to create a more macaroon-ish sized treat.  They also went over well with my elderly neighbor Ben and one of my favorite doormen Jose who are often recipients of my baking experiments when I need to unload them for fear of consuming them all myself!


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