Pumpkin cookies — a delicious cross between a cookie, a pie and a bread | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Pumpkin cookies — a delicious cross between a cookie, a pie and a bread

J.M. Hirsch
Larry Crowe / The Associated Press / Pumpkin Cookies, made with a generous amount of pumpkin pie spice and topped with colorful frosting, will satisfy the sweet tooth of both young and old.

Leave the mouth-puckering sweetness to the kids and their candy corn.

This Halloween, satisfy your sweet tooth with a slightly more nuanced sugar rush — frosted pumpkin cookies, a delicious blend of all the best attributes of pumpkin cookies, pies and breads.

These speedy drop cookies are easy to make and decorate, and smell and taste delicious thanks to a generous helping of pumpkin pie spice. The result is a tender, cakey cookie that looks great with a dollop of frosting.

This recipe calls for orange frosting, but it’s easy to make multiple colors, such as orange and black. Prepare the frosting as directed, then divide into two batches before adding the food coloring. Orange and black with contrasting sprinkles are nice.

Though any variety of food coloring works, gel-based provide the most intense colors. These are widely available in numerous colors at craft and baking shops, as well as online. And a little goes a long way, so start with a small amount.

A standard 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree should be enough to make both the cookies and frosting. Be sure to buy the unsweetened puree (the only ingredient should be pumpkin), not pie mix.

Pumpkin Cookies

Start to finish: 1 hour

Makes about 24 cookies

For the cookies:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pound powdered sugar (about 4 cups)

Orange gel food coloring

Black sprinkles (or other decorations)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

To make the cookies, in a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

In a second large bowl, combine the shortening and brown sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla, then mix until well combined.

Add half the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the other half and mix again.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in 1-tablespoon mounds, arranging them 2 inches apart. Bake for about 14 minutes, or until lightly browned at the edges. Midway through baking, rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back.

While the cookies bake, in a medium bowl combine the butter and maple syrup. Use an electric mixer to beat until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Mix well.

Add the powdered sugar and mix well, beating until fluffy. Add the food coloring and beat until uniform. Set aside.

Once the cookies have baked, cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, either pipe or spread the frosting on them and decorate as desired.

Cookies should be refrigerated in an airtight container. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

— AP food writer J.M. Hirsch can be e-mailed at jhirsch@ap.org

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