birthday blizzard & pumpkin whoopie pies
I have resentful memories of late October weather as a kid, investing hours conceiving a perfect Halloween costume only to have it ruined by the parental enforcement of an unmatching puffy winter coat. My birthday is the 29th, and this year I spent hours trawling thrift shops on the evening of the 28th to find a perfect white trenchcoat to match my Holly Golightly costume in anticipation of the unseasonal snowstorm that hit New York last weekend. Waking up on Saturday morning at 6 a.m. to construct a beehive and shellac it with enough hairspray to resist the elements, I roused the rest of the household by practically jumping on the bed until the remaining inhabitants were enlisted on an 8 am trip to Alice’s Teacup for breakfast tea. When I say “the rest of the household”, I mean that we brought stuffed animal friends and ordered scones for them. I take my birthday seriously.
By the time we’d returned from breakfast, heavy, thick flakes had started to fall, coating the view outside my window in a slushy sheen of white. So I did the only logical thing: cued up some Christmas music on Spotify and got to baking.
I’d initially planned to bake pumpkin cookies, by request for a Halloween party later than night, but in an effort to make something a little more festive looking than misshapen orange blobs, I turned them into miniature pumpkin whoopie pies, with pumpkin buttercream filling and the edges rolled in gold sugar sprinkles.
I began with this recipe for the cookies, doubling all the spices (as I always do in pumpkin desserts), adding nutmeg and ground clove, and omitting the vanilla and ginger since I was out and not planning to head to Trader Joe’s mid-blizzard. Instead of cream cheese filling, I beat together butter with confectioners’ sugar and a touch of Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter to make buttercream frosting. Each whoopie pie got a daub of pumpkin butter, then a healthy spoonful of frosting before another cookie was sandwiched on top and the edges were rolled in sprinkles. Tiny, adorable, festive and surprisingly portable.