Friday, October 15, 2010

pumpkin pie cookies

The squeals of joy coming from my house could be heard from miles away when I announced to my family that the weather was sufficiently autumn-like for me to make my first batch of pumpkin pie cookies this season.

These cookies go hand-in-hand with heavy sweaters, hot cocoa and multiple layers of comfy blankets. One bite and your eyes see a haze of falling leaves; cool howling winds seem to blow through your hair, and you can smell the distinct aroma of a fire in the hearth. These cookies are fall itself.

As someone who loves (actually, love isn't quite a strong enough word) pumpkin, but isn't keen on the creamy consistency of pumpkin pie, these cookies are a perfect alternative. They have the same flavor as the popular seasonal treat, but with a super soft cake-like texture instead.

I've been making them every autumn for at least five or six years, though I can't remember where I originally found the recipe. It's jotted down on a piece of loose leaf, sprinkled with smears of pumpkin and flour from years of baking. It was originally a pumpkin-chocolate-chip cookie recipe, but I ditched the chips after the very first batch. The pumpkin itself is more than enough. However, in case you want to add the chocolate, I included them in the recipe.

You'll need:

1/2 c. margarine
1 c. pumpkin
1 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. skim milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 375'

Microwave the butter, then combine with pumpkin, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Mix the two together, and then add the chocolate chips (optional).

Drop even teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, about 1" apart. They don't spread too much during baking, so you can fit quite a lot on each sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes, checking to make sure the bottoms don't burn. Transfer immediately to wire cooling racks. Enjoy! :)