Growing up in New Hampshire, I was fortunate to experience the beauty of the autumn leaves year after year. The changing colors, decorating the sky and then blanketing the ground, still amaze me with their brilliance, even all these years later. Although I do not live in NH any longer, as I moved to New York some years ago, I still get to enjoy the changing seasons and the falling leaves here as well.
The leaves aren’t the only the only thing taking center stage come Autumn: so are the APPLES!
I adore apple picking, and have a crazy love of harvesting various fruits throughout the year. As the apple season is drawing to a close, more and more of the apples are covering the ground rather than the trees. Soon we will all turn our attention to turkey, squash and mountains of pies. I wanted to savor the apple season just a little longer, and continue in my love of apple foods and desserts, with “Apple Spice Whoopie Pies with Cider Frosting”.
I personally like to think that New England holds claim to the fantastic-ness that is the whoopie pie, but there is actually mild debate about if they originated in Maine or Pennsylvania. I will reserve my thoughts on that, but will tell you what I do know: the whoopie pie reminds me of “home”, they do not taste like pie at all but rather cake, they are loved by kids (and adults!).
If you are looking for a fun dessert or snack to make with your kids, or to pack into a lunch box, give these a try!
RECIPE: Apple Spice Whoopie Pies w/ Cider Frosting
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (I make my own using Almond Milk and lemon juice)
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons shortening (I use Organic Spectrum Shortening)
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened (I use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread)
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 cup shortening (I use Organic Spectrum Shortening)
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoon boiled cider syrup*
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
*Boiled Cider can be purchased from King Arthur Flour or can be made yourself at home. Simmer a gallon of apple cider in a pot until there is a thick concentrate left. This will take a while, but it is worth it. Store in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and applesauce in a small bowl and whisk well, then set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer: add the butter, shortening and brown sugar. Combine until smooth.
- Into the butter/sugar mixture, add the flours, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. As you begin to combine, slowly pour in the liquid ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth.
- Scoop the dough onto the prepared sheets, using tablespoons or cookie scoops.
- Bake for 12-15 mins (depending on the size), until the edges are slightly brown.
- Allow all of the cookies to cool on a wire rack.
- Combine the shortening, powdered sugar, boiled cider and cinnamon in a clean bowl and mix until smooth.
- Sandwich two whoopie pies together with frosting in the middle. Make sure to wait until the whoopie pies have cooled completely, or the frosting will slide off.
- Wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap to maintain freshness.
Get your kids involved! Let them help:
- measure and mix ingredients
- mix, mix, mix
- scoop dough onto the cookie sheets
- spread the frosting and assemble the whoopie pies
- Option: add sprinkles into the frosting filling, or roll the edges of the prepared whoopie pies in sprinkles and/or colored sugar.