From Scratch, With Love

The Winning Pumpkin Cookie

with 2 comments

Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  After a week and 6 or 7 batches of pumpkin cookies or varying quality, I’ve finally found a method that makes me happy.  The result is a wonderfully soft, pumpkin-y cookie that isn’t too sweet and is perfectly spiced.  Additionally, the dough lends itself both to the sugar-crusted drop cookie method AND to the rolled out and cut with a cookie cutter method.  Reminiscent of a ginger cookie, don’t feel guilty about eating 1 or 2 (or 7) of these because they are also very low in fat and sugar, thanks to the naturally moist nature of pumpkin.

By cooking the pumpkin in the butter, you benefit both from the caramelization of the butter and the intensification of the pumpkin flavor due to evaporation of water.  I also recommend sauteing some fresh ginger to bring out the ginger flavor, but adding 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger in with the dry ingredients works in a pinch.  I found that adding a little more salt to the recipe counteracts the bitter flavor or the pumpkin, and that using whiskey instead of vanilla complements the pumpkin and spice nicely.  Finally, I opted to use only white sugar because brown sugar overpowered the pumpkin too much.  I added a little maple syrup as well.  I hope you like them as much as I do!

Andrea’s Pumpkin Spice Cookies (Makes about 60 cookies)

In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter over high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (see note above) and saute for about a minute, until fragrant.  Add 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix) and 2 tablespoons of whiskey (I used Jack Daniels).  Cook the pumpkin until the butter is absorbed and the puree is less watery.  In the end, you should have about 1 cup of pumpkin mixture.  Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large bowl, stir 3/4 cup of white sugar into the pumpkin mixture.  Add 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup.  Add 1 egg and stir until just combined.  Gradually stir in the flour mixture, in about three additions, stirring until just combined each time.  Wrap the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Place a sheet of parchment paper on two baking sheets.

You can make these cookies two ways.

Sugar-coated drop cookies

Pour 1/4 cup of sugar into a small bowl.

A drop a teaspoon’s worth of dough into the bowl of sugar, coating completely.  Using your hands, roll the dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, then press the ball with your finger to flatten it slightly.  Repeat for the rest of the dough, leaving about an inch between balls of dough.  They will spread, but not too much, so you can fit a lot of cookies on one sheet.  I fit 30 cookies on mine.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, turning the cookie sheet halfway through baking time.  Let cool.  These cookies are actually best the day after they are baked.

Rolled cookies

These cookies are great for parties, or for decorating.

Sprinkle some flour on your work surface.  Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and lightly dust with flour.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is evenly about 1/8 inch thick, being careful not to let it stick to the work surface.  Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut cookies and place them on baking sheet, leaving about 1/2 inch between cookies (they will not spread too much).  Bake for about 10 minutes, less if you like them doughy.  Let cool completely before decorating, if desired.


Written by poperatzii

September 18, 2010 at 12:34 pm

2 Responses

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  1. These sound great! I’m wild about all things pumpkin.


    September 23, 2010 at 9:01 am

  2. oh wow, they sound awesome! thanks for doing all the research for us – can’t wait to try them!

    megan @ whatmegansmaking

    September 23, 2010 at 9:18 am

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