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Pumpkin Cookies October 30, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, Home.
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Well. . . not so much. 😳

I had every intention of making this recipe I found on Recipezaar. Really. πŸ™„ But I ended up tweeking it a little. Well, a lot. You know how I do that sometimes. πŸ˜‰ I’m not going to provide the printable recipe – yet. I think there’s still room for improvement. πŸ˜€

So here’s what I did. You’re gonna love this. πŸ˜†

Start simply. In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine:

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10 Tablespoons butter (I used a stick and a quarter of margarine. I figured, by the time we get done, I’m not going to be able to tell whether it’s real butter or not. And let’s do the math – butter is $2 a pound (on sale) and margarine is 2 pounds for a buck.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. Cream together the butter, an egg, and 1Β½ cups of sugar. A Note to Self – I would substitute at least Β½ cup with brown sugar. Wish I’d thought of it sooner. . . πŸ™„

OK, so here’s where we start to, um, deviate from the original recipe. A bit, anyway. 😯

I pulled out some of the roasted butternut squash that we packed in the freezer a couple of weeks ago. Pumpkin . . . squash – is there really such a huge difference? I don’t think so, do you? πŸ˜†

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So I added 1 cup of roasted fresh squash instead canned pumpkin. There was about a half cup left in the package, and, in hindsight, I should have just tossed it all in. In reality, what I did dump was the leftover squash on top of some leftover green beans, and took it to work for lunch. πŸ™„

So I just left the mixer running while I measured the dry ingredients. I gotta tell you, I love that stand mixer! Just turn it on and walk away. Just don’t wander too far! πŸ˜†

Whisk together in a separate bowl:

3 cups flour – I used Β½ cup whole wheat. After all, there’s no reason not to! And I figured between the pumpkin squash and the spices, well, you’ll never even notice it. Turns out I was right. Sort of. πŸ˜•

To the flour, I added 2Β½ tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger (And don’t think I wasn’t tempted to use some fresh/frozen ginger instead! But I didn’t.), 1/8 teaspoon each of allspice and cloves. You could also use maybe 3Β½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, but I didn’t do that. I’ve got all the component spices, so why not use them, huh? πŸ˜‰ I also used 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon table salt. (I never use kosher salt in baking – table salt is more consistent in granule size for measuring. Just saying.)

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Turn off the mixer and add the flour mixture to the squash mixture, a little at a time, mixing on very low speed after each addition. I have learned the hard way – you do NOT want to dump all the flour in at once, and you REALLY don’t want to just crank it up on high!

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Once the dough was mixed up, well, it was awfully thin to be cookies. I’m talking BATTER, not dough. 😯 And a little, well, bland. πŸ˜₯

Not a problem. I put away the sheet pans and pulled out a 9×13 pan. My cookies are going to be cake. πŸ˜€ I also peeled and diced one Granny Smith apple and folded that in, hoping that would add a little extra sweetness and flavor to the mix.

Spread into a greased pan, and into a 350Β° oven until it passes the toothpick test – 45 minutes, as it turned out.

Nicely risen, browned, and honestly, very fragrant. πŸ˜‰

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Now, while this is baking (and cooling) I did some thinking. Certainly this will be at least edible. But I did taste the batter before baking, and, honestly, it needed something, and a lone Granny Smith can only do just so much. πŸ™„

Frosting. yummy.gif

Not just frosting, but cream cheese frosting. yummy.gif yummy.gif

Maple cream cheese frosting. yummy.gif yummy.gif yummy.gif

But, well, cream cheese. The fat. The calories. The humanity! πŸ˜₯

Besides, we don’t have any real cream cheese in the house – just neufchΓ’tel. OK. We’re in business! shhh.gif

First thing we need to do is sift a couple of cups of confectioner’s sugar. Oh boy, my favorite. πŸ™„ Unfortunately, as far as I know, there’s just no getting around that – if you’re going to make frosting, you need to sift the sugar. πŸ˜₯

And that stuff gets everywhere! 😯

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OK, the sugar is sifted and set aside for the moment. I took one package (8-oz.) of cold neufchΓ’tel, and about a Tablespoon or so of room-temperature butter. According to The Joy of Cooking, cold cream cheese will blend more smoothly in frosting. Who knew? And I used real butter this time, because, well, it’s an uncooked frosting with only 4 ingredients. No screwing around! Every ingredient needs to pull its weight. Back to the work bowl, and mix well. Now the fun part. I dumped in about 2-3 Tablespoons of our grade B maple syrup that we picked up in Vermont last fall. Not so much as to make it overly sweet, but enough to just taste that hint of maply goodness. Oh yum. yummy.gif

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We each had a slice that evening, and it was tasty, if a little, well, crumbly. The strangest thing happened, though. The next morning, I brought some cake into the office. Nothing like feeding the boss to keep him happy, you know? πŸ˜†

For whatever reason, and I suspect it was the apples, the cake had actually gotten more moist as it sat, covered, overnight. 😯 I know, right? Who ever heard of a CAKE that gets better as it sits? (Except fruitcake, which I’m fine with, though some people might question the “better” judgment.) But by the next day, this stuff was seriously good. And of course, the low-fat maple cream cheese frosting didn’t hurt anything. πŸ˜†

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So there you have it. The pumpkin cookies that became squash cake. It says “fall,” certainly, even if it’s a bit predicable. I might experiment with this a bit more – maybe add some surprise ingredients. . . hmmm. . . or I might not. I do have my hips to think about. . . πŸ™„

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