Friday, January 05, 2007

Recipe Friday

If you made it all the way through the holidays without eating some

Pumpkin Cookies,

there's no time like the first week in January to catch up. Yum. This recipe is adapted from one submitted by Maura from Chicago, Illinois, who writes,
Dear Good Reverend,
Here is the recipe.
Chicago, Illinois
Thanks, Maura! Of course, I've simplified it with my meddling ways, but at the end I'll tell you what she did differently so you can decide for yourself.

You'll need:
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
And you'll also need:
  • Oven
  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Spatula
  • Electric mixer
  • Measuring spoons
  • Baking sheets (maybe two large)
  • Something with which to grease baking sheets
  • Wire rack for cooling

Preheat to oven to 375 degress and grease the cookie sheets.

In the medium bowl, combine the flour, the four spices, the baking powder and soda, and the salt. Mix them together briefly.

In the large bowl, beat together the softened butter and the sugar until it forms a creamy mixture. Then add the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla, and mix the whole thing together with the electric mixer. Add the flour mixture from the medium bowl a half-cup at a time, mixing thoroughly in between.

Ta-da, that is your dough. Now drop rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough onto the cookie sheets about two inches apart. I like to use a teaspoon in each hand to form the balls of dough. Stick the sheets in the oven and bake at 375 for fifteen to twenty minutes (I like them a little softer, so I stay closer to fifteen, but it is up to you).

Cool the cookies on the sheets for a couple minutes, then for another ten minutes on a wire rack. If you don't have a wire rack and want to be ghetto, crinkle up aluminum foil and then unfurl it so it is a wide, textured sheet. Setting your cookies on this will allow air to circulate under them much like a wire rack would.

Those are your straight-up plain pumpkin cookies. But what did Miss Maura do differently? First, she added two cups of chocolate chips to the dough just before forming it into balls. Second, she coated the finished cookies with frosting (1 cup powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk, and a half tablespoon of vanilla extract). I abandoned both of these steps because I didn't want anything to get in the way of the pumpkin-flavored goodness.

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