Today was our trick or treating night here in New Jersey. Or as I've been calling it, Sandy-ween. We were extremely fortunate in this area that we were not as hard hit by Hurricane Sandy as those poor souls in the barrier islands and in points north. Prayers and donations go out to those who were affected by the devastation, and hopefully we can all continue to band together and help our neighbors.
This was Chase's last first holiday. Since he was born two days after Halloween, he had already been through all the other holidays - this was the last one he hadn't celebrated yet. It's incredible to me to think that we have a one year old. I never thought that parenthood was going to be like this. Challenging, tiring, and the most fun I've ever had. Hubs and I have come along way from the day that second line appeared in the test window. Our family has grown by one, but our love has grown by a million.
How could you not love this little monkey?
At his first birthday party last weekend, we went low-key. Streamers, balloons and monkey tissue paper poofs. Hoagies, mac and cheese, salad and dip. Cake, brownies, cookies and whoopie pies. The whoopies (or as we always call them, gobs), were pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese icing in the middle. They were the biggest foodie hit of the party, and since everyone asked for the recipe, I decided to post it. You should make them for Thanksgiving. Or a random Thursday.
Food equals love, people. And these whoopie pies are like a warm hug on a cold day.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
For the cakes:
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the icing:
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Time and temperature: 350 degrees for 15 minutes
Line your baking sheets with parchment and preheat your oven. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and salt. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until just combined. Add the pumpkin, then the egg, then the vanilla, beating well in between but until just combined. Slowly at the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Drop 2 tablespoon-sized scoops of the batter onto the baking sheet, spread 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, until the cakes are firm to the touch (the tops might crack slightly). Cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
While the cakes are cooling, mix the icing. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the butter. Add the vanilla, mixing well, then the cinnamon. Slowly add the powdered sugar until the icing reaches a stiff but creamy consistency.
When the cakes are cooled, pipe a small amount of icing onto the bottom of a cake and top with another cake. Store in the fridge (store - haha, yeah right) for up to 3 days (3 days, haha, yeah right).