BY DEDRA HAYNIE

Pumpkin season is still here and I shamelessly admit to loving it!  Judge if you must, but for 3 months every fall and into winter, I want pumpkin everything, from savory to sweet.  These Pumpkin Gingerbread Whoopie Pies are autumnal dessert perfection.  Two tender cookies loaded with warming spices, and, of course, pumpkin, then sandwiched with a tangy marshmallow filling to create a handheld treat no one can resist. 

Cakes

All-purpose Flour 3 cups

Salt 1 teaspoon

Baking Powder 1 teaspoon

Baking Soda 1 teaspoon

Ground Cinnamon 2 tablespoons

Ground Ginger 1 tablespoon

Ground Clove 1 tablespoon

Dark Brown Sugar 2 cups

Vegetable Oil 1 cup

Pumpkin Puree 3 cups

Eggs, room temp 2 each

Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon

Filling

12 oz container of Whipped Cream Cheese

7 oz container of Marshmallow Creme

To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil, pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.

Using a #16 (1/4 cup) ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.

To make the filling: Combine about 1/2 the marshmallow creme with the cream cheese in a bowl; mix thoroughly with a fork or use beaters. Taste; continue adding remaining marshmallow creme a little at a time until the desired sweetness.

To assemble the whoopie pies: Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving, and up to 3 days.

(Makes 12 pies.)

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