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Pumpkin Whoopee Pies + Marshmallow-Cream Cheese Filling

I was on soccer teams for about 12 years. I cannot even label myself a true soccer “player” for that tenure. I had a jersey, I wore coordinating bows and ribbons, I had cool cleats with bright laces, and I practiced with the team, but not only did my athletic prowess never catch up and match my desire to succeed, my true motivation for joining the sport, in the first place, was based on one lady. Little. Debbie. Being only 17 months younger than my brother, I was always in attendance as he started his own athletic journey, and, like any dutiful sister, I loved congratulating him and his teammates post match. And making sad, pitiful – yet precious and hungry – eyes at the designated team mom who was doling out the after-game treats and Mondos. My success rate at scoring my own was about 50/50, but I knew one way to ensure that my grubby little fingers would always hold that coveted, overly processed and flavored snack cake, and that was to worm my way on to the roster. At the tender age of 4, I announced to my parents that I too wanted to join the sporting festivities. When they asked why, with my “age-appropriate” speech impediment in full bloom, I proclaimed it was “becauthe of the dethewts and thuff,” loosely (and not so loosely) translated to “because of the desserts and stuff.” A wise sage, I was.

Later, when I realized that my soccer career was a study in below average mediocrity (think on that one… that’s pretty sad), whose highlight was scoring on myself, as a goalie, in the only goal scored against our team in an entire season, I realized that my chosen method of stress relief, which had become baking in recent years, allowed me the pleasure of the “desserts and stuff,” without the sham of a uniform (though the coordinating bows and ribbons could, and would, continue). Thusly, my soccer career came to an unspectacular, un-illustrious and unremarkable close. But the baked goods made for their own surge of victory and triumph, surely making that little minx Debbie proud.
Whoopee Pies
Pumpkin Whoopee Pies + Marshmallow-Cream Cheese Filling
For the filling:
1 large tub marshmallow fluff
1 8-oz. block of cream cheese, softened

For the whoopee pies:
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling… Trader Joe’s organic variety is a personal favorite)
2 eggs
3 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T + 2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, whisk together oil and brown sugar until combined. Stir in pumpkin puree and eggs until fully incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients and vanilla. Beat well. Drop heapning spoonfuls of batter on to baking sheets. Batter will not spread. Bake 10-12 minutes. If making large pies, bake 12-15 minutes. While pies bake, whip marshmallow fluff and softened cream cheese in a stand mixture until creamy. Remove pies and allow to cool on wire baking rack. Once cool, spread generous amount of filling on one side then sandwich with second pie.

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