Monday, October 30, 2006

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Ahhh, the lovely fall pumpkins in Italy. They’re just so pretty you can’t resist bringing one home from the market. Actually, to be honest, that’s a load of crap. I use canned pumpkin puree whenever I can. Italian pumpkins are absolutely beautiful! But I wish I had my camera this morning to document just how hard they are to cook with (American ones are no better, mind you). A vegetable seller was cutting one of these beauties open with a saw. No kitchen knife here, my dears, but a hardware store, lions’ tooth saw; and it didn’t look like she was having an easy time with it, either. So forgive me my lack of foodie purity. I’ll go with the canned pumpkin every time. (Got one more can left for Thanksgiving pumpkin pie!)
This is a recipe I followed almost to the letter from an online cooking site. The only thing I changed were the spices. They promised “cookies” which made me think I was going to get small, crunchy, disc-shaped things. What I got were entirely pleasant, soft, moist cake puffs. They’re not like cookies but more like little pieces of pumpkin-spice cake. Not bad at all, though, really and just in time for Halloween.

1 cup softened butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon (cassia)
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground Mexican cinnamon (true cinnamon, not cassia, tastes like Big Red gum)

Take the butter out of the fridge and let soften at room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Cream the butter with the brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and pumpkin and incorporate. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all the spices. Pour the flour mixture 1/3 at a time into the larger bowl and mix just until everything is incorporated. Music to mix pumpkin-spice cookie dough with: “Every Day Is Halloween” by Gothic rockers, Ministry.
Drop rounded tablespoons-full of the dough 1 inch apart (they hardly spread) onto cookie sheets that have been greased or covered with parchment paper. Bake for 18 minutes or until the cookies have set but not browned. Cool on racks then enjoy with eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog (Macbeth: Act IV, Scene 1.) Happy Halloween!


Blogger Lin said...


9:39 PM  
Blogger beenzzz said...

Wow! This recipe looks wonderful. I have to make it! Those pumpkins are so pretty and decorative too!

10:06 PM  
Anonymous mandira said...

the cookies looks delicious, happy halloween!

10:44 PM  
Blogger Foodie's Hope said...

Those cookies look yummilicious Susan!! And such big one's too!! Yeah Yeah!! all those frog,bat and newt ,dog parts too!!:))
Happy Halloween!

10:56 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

hahahahaha I honestly dont think I've ever heard of anyone actually pureeing their own pumpkins! Even Dorie Greenspan (from that baking book Ive been geeking out over) suggests using canned!

But I DO love pumpkin! Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup! you name it! I'm all over it! =) And those cookies look rockin!!! ^_^

11:01 PM  
Anonymous rowena said...

Ahhh! Your observations on the pumpkins here couldn't be more precise. I asked my husband to stop by the market for some pumpkin and the story he relayed later was quite a hoot! He asks the lady for some pumpkin and she says "Quanto?". If that didn't take him for a loop because the pumpkins were already HUGE! How could she think that he'd need more than one?

RYC: I gotta use up that buckwheat before the darn bugs get at 'em!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

Mmm, this sounds so good, I can't wait to try it out.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Lin, Beenzzz, Mandira Thanks and Happy Halloween to y'all!

Hi Asha, You're hilarious! Maybe tomorrow I'll do a little Fettuccini With Eye of Newt just for you!

Hi Lea, Thank you! I was feeling as bit remiss, you know? Have you ever made pumpkin ravioli?

Hi Rowena, So what's the next grano saraceno delight?

Hi Jay, Thanks for stopping by!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Tracie B. said...

where on earth do you find canned pumpkin?

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tracie b. - it is on every grocery shelf in America this week. Whole foods has a good brand.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Tracie, I just bring 2 cans over every time I visit back home in Chicago. Haven't seen 'em here yet.

Hi Robert P. We've (Tracie & I) got so many great foods here in Italy but canned pumpkin isn't one of them yet. At least it's portable!

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmmmmmm, yes, these do look delicious, Susan! I love pumpkin pie and I relish pumpkin spice latte, but I've never tasted pumpkin spice cookies, so I am really happy for the recipe and for the chance to make some, thanks!

3:11 AM  
Blogger a.c.t said...

Susan, I made your minestrone last night and it was delicious. I still have some left for another day, it really was enough for an army!
The only change I made was that I added a bit of stock for extra flavour as I didn't have an old parmesan rind. But afterwards, I realised that I could have just cut the rind off the parmesan I had!

I went everywhere looking for the farro and found it eventually and it was quite expensive but it was worth it.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Lotus, Thanks!

Hi a.c.t., I'm so glad you liked it! The #1 reason I only used water in the minestrone and not stock was because we had a strict vegetarian houseguest. I'm glad the recipe worked well for you.
Farro is one of those things I bring back to the States because to my knowledge, you can't even find it there at any price. Stock up next time you're in Italia!

11:44 AM  

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