Winter’s first snowfall, usually, leaves me feeling childish anticipation for the season. Last night it just felt wet and cold. Walking home after a long shift from work, the season’s first flurry felt aggressive and not welcomed. As I was turning the key to open my front door, I stopped and turned back to watch the snow falling through the light shining from the lamp post outside our home. Being sheltered from the wind blowing off the ocean let me linger on our door step long enough to figure out that this snow fall represents my first winter without Molly. I realized it’s not the snow that I find so aggressive. It’s time.
Time pushes you into every ‘first’ whether you’re ready or not. Sometimes it’s obvious like the ‘first time’ I wasn’t greeted by her when I came home. I can prepare for the obvious. Last night caught me off guard. And so I stood there watching my first winter’s snowfall without her and I cried. The tears don’t come as often or with as much pain but I still miss her. I will for the rest of my life. I remembered the winters that we spent together. Her playing in the snow with the girls when they were little, our walks in the city and in the woods at the farm, chasing Dad behind the snowplow, Christmas mornings and sleeping with me on cold winter nights when Ralph was on the road. Beautiful, magical, precious memories of a little dog that I adored. As I stood on my doorstep, I felt a nudge or maybe it was the wind but something in my universe moved ever so slightly and the heaviness lifted. Another first without Molly or maybe I’m not without her…
mini pumpkin whoopie pies with maple cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350*F degrees.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil.
Add pumpkin puree and whisk well.
Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined.
Add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until well mixed.
Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2″ apart.
bake cookies until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
Let cool completely on pan.
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter until smooth.
Add cream cheese and beat until mixed and fluffy.
Add confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup, beat until whipped.
When cookies have cooled completely, drop a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies.
Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge. You now have a whoopie pie!
Refrigerate whoopie pies at least 30 minutes before serving.
THE LOVE: make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. You’ll end up with a perfect whoopie pie – soft springy cake and creamy thick filling!
Thanks for reading.