Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Molasses Marshmallows

Last year I jumped on the whoopie pie band wagon for a good reason. They are individual cake sandwiches with whatever frosting/marshmallow sugary goodness my heart desires for the filling. Since the gooey filling is on the inside, that means less mess on my hands. Most importantly, the only special equipment I need to make perfect whoopie pies are parchment sheets and a scooper for consistent portioning. This makes for professional looking cake/cookies that all cook at the same time.

As a Celiac, cake is on top of my most wanted list. It has been since long before forced to going gluten-free. Whoopie pies make cake more accessible and everyday in my mind. And a great way to share an indulgent treat without too much fanfare. This time of year, I want everything pumpkin, with lots of spices. For this cake, I love using Pamela's Baking Mix, which has all kinds of yumminess that works perfect with pumpkin cake: almond meal, brown rice flour, and powdered buttermilk. Pumpkin has more options with flavor pairing than I could have ever imagined. In a sweet treat, I like to pair pumpkin with full-flavored natural sweeteners. In my pumpkin cake recipe, I use brown sugar which has a richness to pair nicely with the pumpkin and spices. Pumpkin can pair up with even a darker, more complex flavor and sweeter: blackstrap molasses. I think it has more depth and complexity than chocolate. Molasses also is acidic in nature, giving a lightness and balance to the flavor profile. Since molasses is unrefined it has significant nutritional content: vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron; one tablespoon provides up to 20% of the recommended daily value of each of those nutrients. I decided to make the marshmallow filling using molasses. Perfect flavor pairing. It knocked my socks off.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Batter:
  • 200 grams (1 1/3 cup packed) Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking Soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams (1 stick minus 1 tablespoon) of unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup, packed) brown sugar
  • 85 grams (generous 1/3 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 grams (scant 1/2 cup) buttermilk, room temp (can use milk + 1 teaspoon cider vinegar)
Molasses Marshmallows:
  • 22 grams (3 x 1/4 ounce packets) unflavored granulated gelatin
  • 120 grams/mL (1/2 cup) cold water
  • 420 grams (2 cups) sugar
  • 195 grams (2/3 cup) blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 60 grams/mL (1/4 cup) water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla &/or bourbon
Pumpkin Cake Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium/large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, all the spices, and the salt and mix well. Set aside. 
  3. In the workout of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and brown sugar; cream for a couple of minutes. One at a time, slowly add in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. (At this point it may not come together. No fear.)
  4. Add in about 1/3 of the flour & spice mixture into the butter mixture at a slow speed. Allow to come together.
  5. Alternate with 1/3 of the buttermilk and allow to mix well. Continue alternating additions until all added.
  6. Portion out batter using a 3/4 - 1 ounce scooper onto parchment paper. About 12 per sheet.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
Molasses Marshmallows:
  1. In the work bowl of the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle the gelatin over 120 grams/mL (1/2 cup) cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes for gelatin to bloom.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, blackstrap molasses, salt, and 60 grams/mL (1/4 cup) water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil with occasional stirring. Boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Turn on the mixer to high with bloomed gelatin, and slowly pour the boiling syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into the gelatin mixture. Mix for 12 minutes. The mixture will become light (in color, too) and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla &/or bourbon; mix until well combined. Spray your scooper with cooking spray. Immediately portion 1 scoop marshmallow between 2 pumpkin cake cookies and press until the marshmallow comes to the edge.
  4. Work with the marshmallows quickly before setting. There will be plenty of leftover marshmallows. Perfect for hot chocolate, s'mores, etc. Lightly spray a small baking pan with cooking spray, line with plastic wrap, leaving a 2 inches overhang on all sides. Spray a silicone spatula with cooking spray. Spread soft marshmallows into prepared pan. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, spray side down, to top of marshmallows. Let stand for 2 hours. Carefully remove from pan, removing plastic wrap. Cut marshmallows into squares using oiled knife. In a large bowl or ziplock bag, place powdered sugar. Working in batches, add marshmallows and toss to coat.
(Makes about 16 whoopie pies)

This is part of Food Network's Fall Fest, highlighting the produce that is in season. Check out The FN Dish. The seasonal produce we are focusing on the great pumpkin! Here are other delicious features on pumpkin:

What's Gaby Cooking: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
The Cultural Dish: Pumpkin Waffles
Cooking With Elise: Pumpkin Chip Scones
And Love It Too: Creamy Pumpkin Fruit Dip
CIA Dropout: Pumpkin Panna Cotta With Gingerbread
Haute Apple Pie Girls: Pumpkin Bread Parfait
I Am Mommy: Pumpkin Pancakes
Dishin and Dishes: Maple Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins With Pumpkin Seed Streusel
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pumpkin Pizza
Daydreamer Desserts: Pumpkin Fattigman
From My Corner of Saratoga: Baking Pie In The Pumpkin
FN Dish: The Ultimate Pumpkin Soup
Cooking Channel: Pumpkin Risotto
The Sensitive Epicure: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies With Molasses Marshmallows
Daily*Dishin: Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake
ZaikaZabardast: Pumpkin Jalebi
Mooshu Jenne: Pumpkin Nutella Bread
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

1 comment:

beti said...

every word in the title makes my mouth water, specially the marshmallows