Makes about 12 to 14 pies, depending on finished size of cookies
Oh my! You can use a dedicated pan—some manufacturers call them whoopie pie pans while others call them muffin-top pans, but both work and both turn out perfectly round, gently domed pies. An everyday cookie sheet or sheet pan will work, too; the pies will just be a little more free-form. Remember to allow about 2 inches between each spoonful of batter, as the cookies spread in the oven.
2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp maple extract
2 free-run eggs
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 250-g pkg cream cheese (about 8 ounces)
1 tsp maple extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 cups icing sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lightly butter 2 whoopie pie or muffin-top tins or line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper; set aside.
In large bowl with whisk, blend flour, 3/4 tsp of the sea salt and baking powder; set aside.
In another large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and 1/2 tsp of the maple extract. An electric hand mixer works well, too.
To the batter, add eggs and continue to beat on medium high. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
Add dry mixture to wet mixture, then mix until evenly moistened; don’t overmix or batter will be tough. Fold in pecans.
Fill prepared tins or scoop generous tablespoons of batter, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined baking sheets. We used a soup spoon to measure a nice amount of batter.
Bake until top springs back when lightly touched and edges are very light golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely—not even a hint of heat!—before filling, or you’ll have a runny mess.
In large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, add cream cheese, 1 tsp of the maple extract, 1/4 tsp of the sea salt and half of the icing sugar; beat on slow speed until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar, bit by bit, until smooth and spreadable. You may not need it all.
To assemble, using an offset spatula, spread a heaping soup spoon of filling onto the bottom of a cookie, then gently make a sandwich with a second cookie—no need to squeeze!
From Hudson, Quebec, now living in Port Hope, Ontario, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories and creates delicious recipes for such publications as: LCBO’s Food & Drink, Manna Pro Hearty Homestead, The Harvest Commission, and Today’s Parent; she published her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015. She studied Fine Art History and Humanities at the University of Toronto, and York University; she graduated with honours from OCAD University; she earned her Wine Specialist Certificate from George Brown College.