"Free" Pumpkin Moon Pies

The weather these last few weeks has been wildly random.  One day I'm wearing boots, long sleeves, and a puffy vest.  The next day I'm in a t-shirt and flip-flops.  It's not that I don't like variety.  I'm just a sucker for the fall, and I'm delighted by the signs that autumn is finally getting ready to join us here in DC.  

The cooler, crisper weather just screams PUMPKIN! to me, and combined with a hankering for moon pies, I came up with this recipe (with the help of The Spunky Coconut).  

These are rich and super hearty, and the creamy filling tastes so delicious that  it just seems wrong!  You'll ask yourself - can this moon pie really be gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan?  I'm here to tell you - Yes, it is!   

I will definitely be making these again.  Maybe this weekend - they're goin' like hotcakes!  Next time I'll flatten the cookies out a bit more before baking so I have a slimmer moon pie with a bit more filling.  

A note on coconut milk:  If you haven't worked with coconut milk before, it can be exceptional for making fillings and frostings if you refrigerate the can and separate out the cream from the water.  We have found that Thai Kitchen's coconut milk has the highest cream content and works best for these types of recipes.  If you live in the DC area, you might have seen me in the grocery store shaking cans of coconut milk to find the ones that seem to have the least liquid. Thai Kitchen wins.  When you take the can out of the refrigerator and open it, gently scoop out the creamy top until you get down to the water.  You can use the water in smoothies or curries - yum!  If all of this sounds confusing, just buy yourself a can of coconut milk, put it in the refrigerator, and check out the results.  

On to the recipe!

"Free Pumpkin Moon Pies"

1 cup almond meal flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (I used gluten-free)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used powdered)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (or canned pumpkin)
3 tablespoons flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
12 drops liquid stevia (I used NuNaturals)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup xylitol
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquified

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix together the first seven ingredients and set aside.
3.  Mix together the rest of the ingredients with an electric mixer.
4.  Pour the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix until just combined.  The mixture will be slightly crumbly.
5.  Start using your hands!  Roll the dough into balls and flatten - they will not spread or flatten while baking.  Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bake for about 12 minutes.
6.  Allow the cookies to cool.

On to the filling!!

One can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 drops liquid stevia

1.  As described above, scoop the separated coconut milk cream into a bowl.  
2.  Add in the vanilla and stevia and stir until completely combined.  The stirring motion will have heated the cream, and you should have a mixture that's about the consistency of yogurt.  
3.  Place a dollop of filling on a cooled cookie and place another on top to create a sandwich.
4.  Refrigerate the moon pies for at least an hour before serving.  The filling will stiffen up again, allowing the moon pies to hold their shape.