Happy Half Thanksgiving Pumpkin Whoopie pies!

I know what you're thinking…what the heck is Half Thanksgiving?  Well, it is exactly 6 months from Thanksgiving and exactly 6 months until the next Thanksgiving.  I'm on deck for leading small group this week and I wanted to do a lesson on Thanksfulness.  How much of the day do we spend being thankful?  So I thought that I would make a Thanksgiving feast and to go along with our fall-inspired dinner, I needed a pumpkin dessert.  This is where these soft, pillowy, gluten-free, whoopie pies come in!  If you've never had a whoopie pie, it is a cake-like cookie sandwiching a sweet fluffy filling.  Most times, a buttercream or in the traditional whoopie pie, marshmallow fluff filling.  So delicious!  It's basically a portable cake sandwich that you can carry around and enjoy.  I love them.  

Today is my first day off after a long stretch of days at the hospital, so I spent a lot of time browsing at Target finding my ingredients.  One of which, was canned organic pumpkin.  When I got home and started organizing the ingredients, I realized I didn't have the canned pumpkin.  OH how that made my blood boil!  >:T  One of my worst pet peeves is having to go back to the store once I'm settled and at home.  But I had no choice.  What's a pumpkin whoopie pie without the pumpkin?  So I went back to the store and came home to work on my Thanksgiving lesson.  I immediately started feeling grateful that I even have the means to go out to the store to buy a can of pumpkin!  There are so many people in this world that don't even have that luxury, whether it's a physical or monetary limitation, or the fact that I have a car and I live 5 blocks away from a grocery store that carries organic canned pumpkin!  

What a good lesson for me to swallow, I'm thankful for so many things and this made me realize how much I take for granted.  Even something like a can of pumpkin :).  Happy Half Thanksgiving! Hope this entry makes you hungry for Thanksgiving food and makes you think about the things in life that you are thankful for.

To make these slightly healthier, I used Turbinado Sugar, but if you don't have that on hand, you can substitute for brown sugar.  I also made a gluten free version since I have a GFree small group member :).  I forgot to throw in the chia seeds in this batch. 

Happy Half Thanksgiving Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Ingredients

1 stick of room temperature butter

1 cup of natural/raw sugar cane sugar (or brown sugar)

2 large eggs, room temp and slightly beatened

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

233g gluten-free flour

1 package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup maple syrup (or raw honey)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a large bowl, mix butter and cane sugar.

3.  Whisk in pumpkin, eggs, vanilla.

4.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.

5.  Fold in flour mixture in three batches, mixing well after each addition.

6.  Drop batter with a small cookie scoop, press down to ensure even cookies.  Be sure to space cookies well, batter spreads while baking.

7.  Bake for 10 minutes, edges may be slightly browned.  

8.  Make the cream cheese filling by whipping cream cheese in a mixer until smooth.  Add maple syrup or raw honey.  Sprinkle cinnamon.  Whip until fully combined and smooth.

 This here is a bottle of pure Vermont Maple Syrup! I've been wanting to sneak this into a recipe, so glad I got to finally use it.  It's delicious and not overly sweet.

This here is a bottle of pure Vermont Maple Syrup! I've been wanting to sneak this into a recipe, so glad I got to finally use it.  It's delicious and not overly sweet.

9.  Once cookies are cooled on a rack, spread cream cheese filling and sandwich with a second pumpkin cookie.  These can be messy, they should look slightly rustic :).