I haven’t done too many preparations for Thanksgiving yet. Here’s how we celebrate: we typically stay in town, because that week kicks off all of our holiday gigs. Three days before the Thanksgiving, we have super late, after-hours rehearsals at Epcot for the Candlelight Processional. The three days following Thanksgiving, we have holiday performances. This means there are a lot of musicians who don’t get to travel and see family on this holiday.
We often had Thanksgiving dinner at someone’s house who played host to “homeless” musicians. This year, we are having dinner at our place with just a few friends. Although knowing my husband, who loves inviting people over, that number will probably increase in the next few days. Not that I mind – the more people eating turkey, the less we have for leftovers!
You have probably already fleshed out your Thanksgiving menu, but if you’re looking for something to add, I highly recommend these whoopie pies. They’re like a sweet potato casserole in cookie form. You could serve them as an appetizer. Or how about as a non-traditional side dish? And of course, there’s always dessert. The marshmallow filling holds its shape, so there’s no messy oozing when you bite into the whoopie pie. And using the kitchen torch equals a good day of cooking in my book.
adapted from Cuisine at Home
- For the whoopie pies: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar with a hand mixer. Beat in the egg. Add sweet potato puree and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add half the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Add the buttermilk and beat until just combined. Finish off with remaining flour and beat until just combined.
- Scoop batter onto prepared baking sheets in about 3 Tbs amounts, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake until cookies are just set and spring back when touched, about 14-16 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
- For the filling: Place egg whites, sugar, water, and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler (or a medium heatproof bowl.) Beat with a hand mixer on high until opaque, white, and foamy. Put the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the container sits firmly over the pan. Beat on high until the frosting forms stiff peaks that stand up straight when you stop the beaters and lift them out of the frosting. This should take about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from the pan and add the vanilla extract. Continue beating on high for another two minutes to thicken the frosting. Use immediately.
- To finish the whoopie pies, fill a pastry bag fitted with a tip and pipe onto the bottom side of half the cookies. Use a kitchen torch to toast the filling. Top with remaining cookies.
To make sweet potato puree, process cooked, skinned sweet potatoes in a food processor for about 30 seconds. 1 large baked sweet potato=about 1 c puree.