Deep-Fried Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Chef Darby Aldaco shares his recipe
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Late October always sets our sweet tooth a-tingling with memories of Halloween hauls past. Those of us too old for trick-or-treating should head to downtown’s One-Eyed Gypsy, which opened last week under the helm of Dana Hollister (Brite Spot, Villian’s Tavern). Part bar, part carnival (bar-nival?), the new spot features retro skee-ball tables, a Love-O-Meter machine, and a Tom-Hanks-in-Big-style fortune teller booth. Along with funky cocktails and craft beers, a small food menu will serve carnival-inspired eats like this seasonal, cream-filled indulgence. Chef Darby Aldaco has taken the popular pumpkin whoopie pies found at Echo Park’s Brite Spot (pictured), dunked them in batter, and fried them to golden perfection. Now that beats candy corn any day.

Deep-Fried Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

PUMPKIN WHOOPIE PIES (yield: 14 rounds)

1 1/2 cups Flour / All Purpose
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Cinnamon / ground
½ tablespoon Ginger / ground
½ tablespoon Cloves / ground
½ tablespoon Nutmeg / ground
1 cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2s cup Pumpkin Puree
1 each Egg / large
½ teaspoon Vanilla extract

• Combine all of the dry ingredients
• In a mixing bowl, beat brown sugar and oil until combined well
• Add the pumpkin puree and beat until thoroughly combined
• Add egg and vanilla, and combine
• Sprinkle dry mixture over the wet and fold together
• Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop individual mounds on a greased or paper lined cookie sheet (leave room between mounds
• Bake at 350 degrees for roughly 20-24 minutes, until cakes spring back when pushed with finger

MASCARPONE CREAM CHEESE FILLING

8 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
8 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
4 teaspoon vanilla extract (vanilla paste is even better)
2 tablespoon milk
3 cup confectioners’ Sugar

• In mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and beat until fluffy and smooth
• Once whoopee pie halves are cool, turn every other mound upside down, spread an even layer of filling then sandwich with the top half

*Now to prepare for deep frying, place sandwiched whoopee pies in freezer overnight

FRY BATTER

4 cups Whole Milk
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking Powder
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt

ALSO HAVE:

Oil for frying
All Purpose Flour
Powder Sugar

• Combine milk, vinegar, and oil
• In another bowl blend flour, baking powder, and salt
• Whisk wet ingredients into dry, refrigerate
• Heat oil to 350 in a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven
• Remove whoopee pie from freezer, coat in flour then dip into fry batter, making sure completely coated
• Carefully slide the battered pie into the hot oil, frying roughly 2 minutes per side until nice and golden
• Place on a paper towel to drain off grease, then dust with powder sugar