Reading my books, you could be excused for thinking I’m a foodie. I’m not — I just like to eat! And so do my characters, apparently. Food and recipes play a role in many of my stories, including all three Pumpkin Falls mysteries. Set in a tiny fictional town in New Hampshire, the books chronicle the adventures (and misadventures) of middle school private eye Truly Lovejoy, who moves to town with her family to help her father heal from an accident while shoring up her grandparents’ faltering bookstore. Truly’s aunt moves back home to help, too, and one of her many marketing schemes involves serving up signature treats each afternoon. She’s firm in her conviction that customers will stop by for a snack and stay to shop — and it turns out she’s right. Books and food are a winning combination.
Which is true in real life as well as in fiction! This time of year finds Lovejoy’s Books serving up Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, a seasonal twist on a classic New England treat. Here’s a recipe so you can do the same. As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, they’re just the thing to enjoy with a cup of tea and a good book.
AUNT TRUE’S MINI PUMPKIN WHOOPIE PIES
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp. salt (only if using unsalted butter, otherwise omit)
- 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
- 1−1÷4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 T. molasses
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 6 T. butter, softened
- 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 to 1−1÷2 c. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs and beat well. Add pumpkin, vanilla extract, and molasses; beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Add to pumpkin mixture and stir well. Using a teaspoon-sized cookie scoop (or a heaping teaspoon), drop onto greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until the cookie springs back to the touch, or a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
FOR FILLING: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually mix in powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Generously frost the flat side of one cookie with filling, then top it with the flat side of another one to make a “sandwich.” Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.