Thursday, October 13, 2011

pumpkin poppets (vegan pumpkin sandwich cookies with "cream cheese" filling)

pumpkin cookies
Today I was very excited to break out the pumpkin!  In my enthusiasm, I also gave my dog, Poppy a heaping spoonful of the festively orange stuff.  I was a little disappointed that the cookies weren't powerful enough to transport me back to the crisp autumnal days of my childhood in western Maryland.  It was hot in San Francisco today.  October is more of a summery month for us here in the bay area.  We don't really get much of a fall season.  It's very disappointing.
Speaking of disappointing- my first 2 batches of cookies turned out kind of smushy:
cookie fail
But this was a minor disaster because the third batch turned out beautifully: perfect pillowy pumpkin poppets!  I'm thinking that maybe the batter needed to sit a little bit before it was scooped onto the baking trays.  I will definitely be trying again to find out.  In the meantime, here is the recipe I used.  This recipe is one that I converted from a non-vegan version.  I've never tried the non-vegan version, but as these turned out really well in the end, I don't see any need to.  The best part about this recipe is that I stumbled upon a delightful vanilla cream cheese frosting.  I intend to use it again on future desserts, including the cinnamon buns I got the ingredients for today.  I would say the true test of this recipe will be my boyfriend's opinion; but, since he admitted last night that he isn't as absolutely insanely in love with pumpkin as I am, he will not be allowed to judge these.  That is, I'll let him pass judgement, but won't be very worried about what he has to say.  All of those true pumpkin lovers (you know who you are) will need to give me your feedback, instead.
For the cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon cloves)
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups pumpkin puree (chilled)
Ener-g egg replacer for 2 eggs (3 teaspoons Ener-g whisked into 4 tablespoons hot water)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the "cream cheese" filling:
3 cups vegan powdered sugar
1/2 cup room temperature vegan margarine (I used earth balance)
8 oz container of vegan cream cheese, softened (I used tofutti)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the poppets:
Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and set aside.
In seperate large bowl, whisk brown sugar into oil until combined.  Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroghly.  Add the Ener-g eggs and vanilla and wisk intil combined.
Wisk the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture.
Let sit for 5 minutes.  Drop heaping tablespoons one inch apart onto the baking sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are starting to crack on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the pan.
Make the filling:
Use an electric mixer to combine the margarine and cream cheese.  Sift in the podwered sugar and mix until there are no lumps.  Don't over process.  Can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated.  Allow to warm to room temperature before assembling.
Assemble the poppets:
Turn half of the cookies upside down.  Put a dollop of filling in the middle of each one and gentlley place a cookie on top.  Push down so filling goes to the edges.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  They keep up to 3 days in the fridge covered in plastic wrap and stored on a parchment lined baking sheet.

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