I often try a few recipes at a time.  It’s like hosting my own personal recipe contest.

It’s just for my own purposes.  And I know it’s not normal.  But I always wonder if there could be a better recipe out there, and I think side by side taste testing is the best way to pick a favorite recipe. Sometimes the results are clear cut, and sometimes they are all good and comes down to personal taste. Sometimes I don’t love any of them and I try a new set of recipes.  I’m not saying my final opinion is anything more than an opinion.  It’s just how I roll and and how a recipe becomes my gold standard.  Until I decide to challenge it, that is!

But I don’t just decide on my taste buds alone.  I drag my neighbors and available friends into taste testing and offering their votes.  Often when I blog, I just share the final result, my favorite.  But I thought it would be fun to let you guys in on my results and conclusions.  

So this time I was on a quest to find the best pumpkin whoopie pie recipe…
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The cookies were all very different, but all very good.  

Each recipe had fans and was voted the best some.  But here are the summarized results:
RECIPE ONE This one was more cookie-like than cake-like.  It was similar to a pumpkin flavored sugar cookie or pumpkin sandies cookie.  The pumpkin flavor was more subtle.  The marshmallow filling was good and firm.  The taste of both together was a bit of a sugar rush for me.  Very sweet!  Made 28 cookies, 14 whoopie pies.  (1 Tbsp. scoop)
RECIPE TWO– With the largest ratio of spices, it was the most flavor rich cookie.  The filling was cream cheese based and a perfect combo.  Most kids didn’t like this one as much because of the strong flavor.  One friend said it almost tasted gingerbread-ish/Christmas-y.  But you could definitely taste the pumpkin as well.  They were cake-like and very moist!  So soft!  Made 61 cookies, 30 whoopie pies
RECIPE THREE– {WINNER} This one got the most votes for #1 and I think was the most classic pumpkin flavor.  It was full of spice, but the pumpkin won out as the strongest flavor.  It was moist and cake-like.  The cream cheese filling was great and very similar to the filling in #2.  Made 44 cookies, 22 whoopie pies.


After I picked my favorite, I made, um…. several batches and tweaked it just a hair.  


Here is the recipe I used (adapted from the fabulous recipe here)
Sift together these ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.  
3 cups all purpose Flour 
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Combine all in an electric mixer:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add the dry ingredients 1/3 at a time.  Don’t over-mix.  
Line cookie sheets with parchment, or a sil-pat nonstick liner.  Use a 1 Tbsp scoop to drop cookies.  Take a slightly wet finger and pat down peaks, and make cookies a bit flatter and more round.  
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Let them cool before you fill them.  
Cream Cheese Filling- you will have a bit left of this, but I like to fill them pretty generously.  I filled a piping bag and swirled them on like a cupcake!  
16 oz cream cheese (2 packages)
1 cup butter
1 2lb. bag of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Refrigerate if you aren’t eating them right away.  I actually loved them chilled and firm.  But you can let them come to room temp too.  The filling will squish out more when you eat them warm.  


I’m just as obsessed with getting the packaging right as I am with getting the recipe right.  I can’t tell you how many hours I surfed the web/shopped in pursuit of baked goods packaging.  But sometimes the perfect packaging isn’t a traditional cake box.  

For the whoopie pies, I ended up using floral/corsage boxes.  I bought them at my local floral supply store and they were reasonably priced.  I protected the food with a cupcake wrapper and lined the box with filler to stabilize them a little.

It was the perfect little nest for these darling cookie sandwiches.  

Then I added some fall flavor with a burlap wrap, some pretty preserved leaves and satin ribbon.  

Beautiful packaging can turn a simple gift into a thoughtful gesture.  Just my humble opinion.

It also makes delivering sweet gifts a breeze.  

I loved using the bigger floral boxes for a more substantial gift.  The long, narrow shape is a bit unexpected and fit 16 whoopie pies perfectly.  

I’m sure that these could be put in a cake box, but I do enjoy the clear packaging, so that people can get excited about their treat before they even open the box!  
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I hope this wasn’t TMI as I walked you through my entire thought process while making these treats. But alas, I think this “quest for the best” was successful.  

p.s. Happy Thanksgiving!  My sweet blog readers are among the blessings I’m thankful for!