‘Tis the season…
Something I don’t do very well but am constantly trying to improve myself upon.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited about these cookies. For starters, this is the first time I have ever invented a cookie recipe from scratch and I’m still rather astonished that it worked!
Secondly, well, they are pretty tasty. These are warm, spicy, sweet little bites with all the flavor of fall packed into them.
Ever notice how in the fall everyone seems obsessed with trying to make everything pumpkin pie flavored except pumpkin pie?
“It’s like pumpkin pie in a latte!”
“It’s like pumpkin pie ice cream…”
“It’s pumpkin pie cheese cake!”
Well, I’m no different from anyone else. This is pumpkin pie in a cookie.
(Although I do have a pumpkin pie recipe to share with you all. Just not today.)
Oh, and, um, this is a very large recipe. It makes about 6 dozen cookies, so plan on sharing!
It’s the perfect recipe for holiday baking!
Start with your everyday baking basics: softened butter, white sugar and brown sugar.
Don’t be decieved by this photo. There’s really a whole cup (2 sticks) of butter in there. The other stick is just buried under all that sugar!
Oh, and do use real butter. This is a pretty wet dough already and I have no idea how it would react to the extra moisture margarine would bring to it!
Plus, butter is better.
Top that with three eggs, a cup of pumpkin puree (the stuff from the can is just fine here), and two teaspoons of vanilla.
Beat this on medium speed until the butter is broken down into the mixture and relatively evenly combined. Don’t worry if it doesn’t all become homogenous, the butter is just never going to really mix with the pumpkin and get really smooth. But that’s okay!
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, cloves, lots of ginger, and salt.
It already smells wonderful!
Look! It’s a spice volcano!
Now mix all this up until it comes together in a fluffy, soft dough. And it will be very soft and very sticky!
But, oh! Look at that color. Could anything be more inviting than pumpkin and spices?
To help counter the stickiness, cover it and stick it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
Next, preheat your oven to 375°.
When you are ready for cookies, roll out golf-ball sized balls of dough…
(Note on the dough: a cookie scoop will be particularly helpful here. The more the dough gets handled the warmer and softer it will get and then it will just melt and make a huge mess all over you and the kitchen and everything. So if you have a cookie scoop, use it. If not, do your best with two spoons. The balls don’t have to be anywhere close to perfectly round as they will puff up and round out as they bake)
… and then roll them in sugar.
(Note on the sugar: I rolled the first batch in Turbinado (raw) sugar, which makes for a very pretty, sparkly coating but was just a little overpowering for the cookie…a little too sweet…a little too crunchy…
After that I rolled them in white sugar and cinnamon, and those came out just right!
Anyways, the moral of the story is that this photo is misleading. You will probably want to roll your cookies in cinnamon sugar, not what you see here.)
Lay the balls of dough on a cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper for easy clean up!).
Flatten them slightly with your fingers…
And bake for about 15 minutes, or until they puff up, the edges turn light golden brown, and the tops crackle.
Let cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two before removing to cooling racks.
Oh pumpkin cookies!
Here’s the recipe!
You could certainly try to half it, but I’m not sure about the eggs. How would you cut three eggs in half? Inquiring minds want to know! Would you use two eggs, or just one, or beat up the last egg and just use half of it? (That last suggestion seems a bit excessive…it’s just a cookie after all, and not that particular…).
I tend to lean towards using two eggs and maybe upping the flour content by a couple of tablespoons to help counteract the extra moisture.
Anyways, the point is, you probably don’t have to make 72 cookies. But you can.
Makes about 6 dozen
1 c. softened butter (2 sticks)
2 c. white sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla
6 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
¾ c. white sugar mixed with 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (for rolling cookies in before baking)
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, both sugars, eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla on medium until butter is evenly incorporated into pumpkin.
In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and spices.
Beat dry ingredients into wet until it is all mixed in. The dough will be fluffy but very sticky.
Cover and chill for at least an hour.
Pre-heat oven to 375°. Form dough into spheres using a cookie scoop or two spoons to form golf-ball sized balls.
Roll balls in cinnamon sugar. Place 2” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with fingers.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops are crackled and the edges are light golden brown. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before removing to cooling sheets.
Eat and be happy!
Especially tasty with vanilla ice cream or a glass of milk.
And they also freeze beautifully!
Back to the Blog, the Project, and life in general…
I’ve had a bottle of grey goose vodka languishing in my freezer for nearly a month now! Well, last night it happily provided the base for several extremely large dirty martinis (I’m not much of a bartender and don’t really have an eye for alcohol measurements!) which my friends and I merrily consumed before heading down for a showing of The Lion King (the musical, not the cartoon. Amazing, by the way. The costumes are out of this world and Rafiki’s voice literally brought tears to my eyes. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it!). We ate cheese and bread and salami and prosciutto and pomegranites and grapes and roasted tomatoes and nuts.
Oh, and a few olives too.
I like them. I really do! Green olives have a much stronger taste and firmer texture than black olives, and kalamata olives are very briny and salty, but over all I really did enjoy them and would happily eat them again (in small numbers. I wouldn’t need more than just a couple to feel pretty satisfied on the olive front…).
Martinis on the other hand…I think those might be more of an acquired taste!
And…coming up next….I need to decide what’s next!
I’ll take your votes (if you are inclined to offer them)!