Halloween whoopie pies

Soooo, we're well into October, which means there's really no better time of year to go ahead and indulge in sweets and not feel the least bit guilty about it. Duh, Halloween = candy, cookies, and all the yummy treats you can get your hands on, right?

If that's your philosophy (which makes you my kind of person), then you won't be able to resist this recipe for Halloween whoopie pies from Marie Claire.

OMG. How adorable and fun are these things?

I won't even bother trying to be shy about it -- I lurrrvvve me some whoopie pies. They're so delish I find it next to impossible to pass up having one when I get the chance. There's no way I can let Halloween go by without trying this festive version on for size.

Forget the cupcakes this year -- go for the whoopie pies. Your kids will think you're the coolest mom ever. I promise.

Halloween Whoopie Pies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup confectioner's sugar

Orange nonpareils, sanding sugar for decoration

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until smooth. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and applesauce, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until smooth (do not over-mix).

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean, 10 to 14 minutes. With a thin metal spatula, immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make filling: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat vanilla and remaining 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, beating until smooth.

Spread bottom of half the cookies with 1 tablespoon filling each; sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently so filling oozes out slightly. Sprinkle exposed filling with nonpareils. Let rest 15 minutes to set.