Last Friday I fell. Not on my butt like I usually do, but on my face. It was dark and I wasn't watching where I was going as well as I should have, and I slipped on the ice in the parking lot ten feet from my apartment. I didn't quite register what had happened until I saw the red liquid on my white gloves. It was spilling out of my mouth, so I felt around with my tongue to make sure none of my teeth had fallen out as I staggered home, trailing red in the snow.
We had no ice packs at home so my roommate gave me a bag of frozen corn wrapped in paper towels to press against my lip, which had a deep gash in it. I called a couple of friends from a nearby house who I was supposed to meet up with and informed them there had been a change in plans. They came over immediately and comforted me while one of them called Health Services. Through some miracle of communication (since he doesn't use his cell phone on Shabbat), my boyfriend arrived just before the EMTs showed up, and he came with me to the hospital. He sat there with me as I bled through endless paper towels, he waited in no less than four waiting rooms, he heard the sad tale of Willy, my roommate in the critical care unit, who had swallowed a piece of her own tooth, and finally, when at 2:30 a.m. the doctor told me he was going to try to get me out of there before 5:00, he went home, he witnessed Part II of a two-part barfight in the very waiting room of the ER. And he still liked me enough the next day to come by in morning while I was still asleep, even though I had gotten eight stitches and my lip was a nauseating scabby mess. In other words, he went above and beyond the boyfriend call of duty.
So even though this isn't usually a space I use to talk about my personal life, I just wanted to express my profound gratitude to him, to my roommates who have taken such good care of me, to the friends who insisted on calling Health Services when I was totally okay with just going to bed, to my parents who have called every half hour to check in on me, to the professors who have been understanding about the fact that I'm on painkillers and a little loopy, and to everyone who has asked how I'm doing and wished me well. It really means a lot to me, and so even though only four people could end up eating the "Thank You" whoopie pie, I wish I could give one to everybody!
Pumpkin isn't my favorite, but pumpkin (especially with chocolate) is my boyfriend's favorite, and as soon as I saw this recipe on 17 and Baking I knew I had to make them. It was my first experience with making whoopie pies. They are extremely simple and, if these are any indication, quite delicious. They look homely and higgeldy-piggeldy, kind of like my face right now, but they got the message across. Plus, they're soft and rather mushy, so I can eat them even without the use of the right half of my mouth. Score.
P.S. I'm thinking of opening up a business where instead of buying cards, people pay me to write their heartfelt messages on whoopie pies. It's perfect - they have broad, flat expanses that are good for writing, and since the frosting is usually a different color than the cookie, the piping material comes pre-made. At the end of the day, wouldn't you rather have a whoopie pie than a piece of paper?
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
From 17 and Baking, Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 2 dozen sandwich cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, chilled
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
To make the whoopie cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two half sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. In another large bowl, whisk together the dark brown sugar and the vegetable oil until well combined. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, then stir in the egg and the vanilla extract. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
Drop the batter by the heaping tablespoon an inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake until the cookies just start to crack at the top and a toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes (blogger's note: for me, the small ones took 20 minutes, the large ones a bit longer.) Let cool completely on the pan.
To make the dark chocolate cream cheese filling: Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until very smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder on low speed until incorporated, then mix in the vanilla extract and milk until smooth.
To assemble the whoopie pies: Spoon some filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round open tip. Pipe a dollop of filling onto the flat side of one whoopie cookie and top with another. Refrigerate cookies until ready to eat and keep in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to three days.