It was Saturday afternoon and I was in the middle of scaling the ingredients for this recipe. I had just set out the butter,sifted the dry ingredients and was cleaning up my baking area when I realized I hadn't checked my phone messages recently. I try not to even look at the phone on my weekend ! When I heard my sister's voice explaining that her husband was in the hospital my heart started racing and I couldn't dial her number fast enough. First of all I'm very grateful that I live so close to my sister and brother. I can't even imagine living out of state or not being able to be with them during a time of crisis. I quickly wrapped everything up from my mise en place and J and I sped off to the hospital in Tacoma. It was so heart wrenching to see the worry and fear in both of their faces. All we could do was wait and pray. So my sister,J and I settled into the waiting room, talking about what's important in life-family and spending time with those you love. We had just pulled out laptops to settle in for what we thought was going to be a 4 hour wait when the Doctor came around the corner with a huge smile on his face-always a good sign ! Good news, no heart surgery, no heart attack-the pain he felt was caused by something else. We couldn't believe it, a wave of gratefulness swept over all of us-we hugged and sped off to my brother in law's room to celebrate. He's home now,safe and warm and tucked in for the day with my sister spoiling him rotten I'm sure-and happy to do so. I am grateful for the wonderful outcome. The sun is shining today- I believe especially bright on Jorge, my brother in law. And we are all celebrating the joy and beauty of life and the moments we have on this planet.
I'm pulling all my ingredients out of the refrigerator and setting up my mise en place again. This time Whoopie takes on a new meaning-Whoopie Life is Good and all is well in our family ! Thank you to the Universe for watching over my family and those I love. And Jorge, this Whoppie Pie is for you!
Pumpkin Whoopie with Brandy Maple Buttercream
adapted fromWhoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley & Amy Treadwell
Yield: 24 Whoopies
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 (1 stick) cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, )
1 egg-room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together your dry ingredients including spices and salt-you can use a bowl or just sift it over a piece of parchment-easier to pour into your mixing bowl.
Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment and in the mixer bowl beat together the brown sugar and butter on low speed until just combined. Add the pumpkin, then the egg-continue beating on low speed until it is all combined. Add the vanilla and beat it until combined.
Still on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture of dry ingredients until just incorporated-don't over beat-no one likes tough Whoopies ! Make sure you scrape down the side of the bowl at least once.
I used a 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop to form my Whoopies-scoops are great for keeping your Whoopies consistent sizes-remember you don't want a tiny top and a huge bottom -just like real life !
Drop your Whoopies onto the parchment lined pans,spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at time for about 15 minutes, or until the Whoopies start to crack and are firm to the touch. Let them cool on the pans for at least 5 minutes before you transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
Brandy Maple Buttercream
1 stick of unsalted butter-room temperature
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/3 cup brandy
In a mixer bowl beat the butter on low speed until creamy. With the mixer on low add 2 1/2 cups of the confectioner's sugar-1/2 cup at a time until incorporated. Add the cream, maple syrup and brandy-beat on low for 1-2 minutes until the liquids are incorporated into the buttercream then turn the mixer to medium and add the remaining confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup at a time until your buttercream reaches a your desired spreading consistency. Scrape down your bowl periodically.
I use a pastry bag with a #804 tip to pipe the buttercream onto one half of the whoopie pie then I gently place the other half on top squeezing ever so slightly. Voila-ready for the first bite !
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