Remember cupcakes? They used to be THE popular and trendy dessert. That was so 5 years ago. After cupcakes, macarons took over, and then cake pops, donuts and desserts in jars. Somewhere in there whoopie pies had a moment in the spotlight. Whoopie pies--with traditions beginning in the United States when farmers would find them in their lunch boxes and yell "Whoopie!--encompass a lot of those trendy desserts. They can be considered a cake, cupcake or pie and are made with two pieces of cake sandwiched with icing. What is also trendy at this time of year is obviously pumpkin desserts, and pumpkin-themed everything.
Natural delights sent me a package of date rolls to try, including their limited edition pumpkin spice date rolls. I enjoy eating dates themselves as a snack. The rolls are a little more luscious and almost brownie-like with no pits in the middle! They satisfy sweet cravings if you're not tucking into a huge pumpkin whoopie pie. Keep in mind they are 50 calories per roll, which isn't that bad considering 2 or 3 rolls is about the same amount of calories as a can of pop.
Date rolls are the newest way to enjoy Medjool dates. They are made of chopped, compressed dates rolled in either coconut or almond. They are a sweet and convenient treat, although not too sweet, and it saves you having to make date rolls or squares yourself. Plus they have added fibre and potassium. I'm not just saying the pumpkin spice was my favourite because this is a blog post about pumpkin. It was my favourite by far and tasted like biting into a pumpkin pie. My close second was the coconut flavour. I found the almond flavour tasty, however the soft texture made them clump together a bit so the package ended up a bit like almond date mush.
Natural Delights date rolls are available in pumpkin spice, coconut and almond flavours at most major grocery stores and online for $4.99 per 8oz tub. I brought some along for Thanksgiving dinner at my in-law's and the date rolls were a nice break from pumpkin pie and cookies. They would look nice on a dessert or cheese tray. Yes, sometimes you need a little break from pumpkin pie. As much as I love pumpkin pie, I also like experimenting with other pumpkin desserts and even savoury pumpkin meals. These whoopie pies are like a fluffy, pumpkin cake with icing. I also sprinkled a few fall-themed sprinkles that I found at Bulk Barn on the icing for some decoration.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (adapted from this recipe)2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pure pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl.
3. Beat butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, then pumpkin and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture until combined.
4. Pipe or scoop the mixture onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes and then cool for 5 minutes before piping icing onto them. If you don't have a piping bag handy, cut a small triangle at the corner of a Ziploc bag to use for piping like I did:
Quick Buttercream Icing
Ingredients:1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp milk or water
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Directions:1. Cream butter for a few minutes and then add gradually add icing sugar.
2. Add vanilla extract.
3. Add the milk or water to achieve the right consistency.
I threw any plans of making a "mini" dessert out the window when I made these. They will expand in the oven like crazy, which is always a good sign when baking. These whoopie pies were massive. I had to cut them in half and couldn't eat a whole one in one sitting. Man, are they good though. I am glad whoopie pies had their time in the spotlight because I almost prefer them to cupcakes. Instead of a bunch of icing on top of cake, you get a wonderful dessert "sandwich" with even layers of cake and icing.
Disclosure: I received free product samples from Natural Delights for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own based on my own experiences.