Monday, October 4, 2010

My Favorite Pumpkin Cookies

It really felt like fall today so it was time for me to make my favorite pumpkin cookies.  Not that I have a lot of experience making pumpkin cookies, but I love these cookies.  They are cakey and tender and more sophisticated than my usual chocolate chip.  I found the recipe in the newspaper a few years ago, so I don't have an Internet link to it.  But here it is (with my notes) for your drooling pleasure.

For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup shortening (or butter, margarine, whatever you've got)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  (I love parchment paper for baking.  It makes clean-up a snap.)  Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice and set aside (or don't).  Cream together shortening and brown sugar.  Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.  Add half of the dry ingredients until well mixed, and then add the other half.  Scoop the dough by tablespoons onto the baking sheets and arrange two inches apart (I use a cookie scoop -- like a miniature ice cream scoop).  Bake for about 14 minutes, or until lightly browned at the edges.  Rotate baking sheets halfway through (or don't; use your judgment).  Allow cookies to cool completely before icing.

For the icing:
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp pumpkin puree (or some of the leftover canned pumpkin)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar
Orange food coloring (or red and yellow, 'cause you know, that makes orange)

Combine the butter and maple syrup and beat until smooth.  Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add the food coloring and beat until uniform.  Pipe or spread the frosting on the cookies and decorate with black sprinkles.

The yield for this recipe is supposed to be 24 cookies.  I never get a perfect yield; this time I got 37 cookies out of this recipe.

Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  And as for the leftover canned pumpkin, feed it to Fido.

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