At this stage of my life, I've decided that recognizing special occasions with people I love via quality time along with a great meal is the most valuable way to celebrate (and yes, to save us all a little money). So, in September when my best friend and her fiancee celebrated their birthdays back-to-back, we decided that a dual birthday dinner was in order. Needless to say, September turned into October, then October became November... you know how it goes. So, last weekend when we FINALLY got our act together, the autumn dessert I tried out on them was this delightful Pumpkin Sandwich Cookie recipe. It turned out to be a huge hit! If you like pumpkin bars or pumpkin bread this time of year, this has got to be on your give-it-a-taste list.
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Then, mix your dry ingredients together in a medium bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set it aside for later.
Now, combine the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat it at a medium speed until creamy. I think my mixing would have been smoother if my butter had more time to soften... just something to keep in mind.
Add your egg, pumpkin, milk and vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed.
It will look oh-so-enticing (if you like baby food) like the snapshot below.
Reduce your mixer speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Now we're getting somewhere!
Here's the part that can be a little tricky: you want to make tablespoon-sized balls of batter so your sandwich cookies are equal sizes. I lucked out when I remembered that Becky had given me a little cookie scoop (it's like a mini-ice cream scoop) at one of my bridal showers. If you have a tool like this, it's perfect. It portioned the cookie balls out for me and I was set. If you don't have a tool like this and you want to be particular, you can pipe batter into a one-inch circle using a piping bag or even just a plastic bag with a corner cut off. The cookies don't spread out too much, so don't worry about putting them a little closer together. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 9-10 minutes.
This is when the birthday couple arrived, and I started getting taste-testers. While the cookies are baking, mix together all of the filling ingredients except for the powdered sugar. That means you are combining softened cream cheese (I used fat free - still tasted amazingly rich, but saved about 60 calories per serving!), LAND O LAKES® Butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Once that's done, gradually add your powdered sugar until the mixture is nice and creamy.
Take your cookies out of the oven and let them cool.
When the cookies have cooled completely, take one cookie (upside down) and give it a dollop of frosting filling. Then, place another cookie on top to complete the sandwich! We worked together to make our own little sandwich cookies, though Ryan decided that he liked dipping the cookies in the extra frosting one at a time to get more of the filling!
For the finishing touches, a sprinkle of powdered sugar dusted across the top of the cookies gives a polished look. Unfortunately, I used every last speck of powdered sugar in my house to finish the filling, so I'll have to plan that for next time. Thankfully, these Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies got such rave reviews that I don't think they stayed on the plate long enough for the four of us to notice the lack of sprinkling! The birthday boy declared, "These are delicious!" (I told you I was going to quote you on that, Peter!)
So, while this treat wasn't your average birthday cake, it was the perfect way for us to top off our celebration dinner. What a fabulous way to make memories together! Those are the things that last. Next up, we girls are brainstorming ways to skip the gift exchange this Christmas, and trade tasty recipes and spend time together instead. Any ideas? In the meantime, enjoy these Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies and leave me a comment or, rate and review the recipe at LandOLakes.com.
On Thursday Liz will show you how to make an amazing apple pie!