Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream

One of the best books I ever received was the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook. Not because the recipes were all that phenomenal, but because the glimpse of simpler times and that old fashioned lifestyle is something I’ve always been drawn to. The Little House series were my favorite books when I was little. In fact, I was so obsessed with the stories of Laura’s life on the prairie that I was convinced that life in the 1800s was perfection. Nevermind the crop failures or the frigid winters, the fact that they spent hours baking bread and making preserves just had me hooked. Back then, life moved a little slower and there weren’t nearly as many things to distract from the good things in life. No big screen TVs with a million channels and no Facebook to eat hours of your day away. Just simple things to fill the days. One of the recipes in Laura’s collection was for a gingerbread cake. It had nothing but simple ingredients and was said to be a holiday staple. I never did try that recipe, but here is my ode to Laura’s favorite cake. These whoopie pies are sweet & spicy, and the cinnamon cream is the perfect complement. You can make them as small or large as you like by just adjusting the amount of batter you use to form each cake. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Adapted from Pink Parsley; makes 12 servings

  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk

Filling:

  • 5 oz cream cheese
  • 4 oz butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoon half & half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the egg, beating until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
  4.  Mix in the dry ingredients slowly, at a low speed.
  5. Add the maple extract & molasses, then the remaining dry ingredients.
  6. Add the buttermilk, mixing until just incorporated.
  7. Scoop batter onto a greased cookie sheet with an ice cream scoop or pastry bag; Space pies a few inches apart so that they have room to spread
  8. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, let cool
  9. For the filling, cream butter & cream cheese together until light and fluffy
  10. Beat in powdered sugar slowly until well incorporated, add half & half as needed
  11. Beat in vanilla and cinnamon
  12. Spread 1-2 tablespoons between two pies
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