No, I’m not talking about the coolest band to ever come out of Chicago. I’m talking about the yummy smashed pumpkin puree that comes in a can. I’ve been opening can after can all week, making whatever pumpkin desserts, breads and muffins I can. Nothing is more comforting to me than the smell of a pumpkin treat baking in the oven.
Pumpkins are the epitome of fall. Yes, they are the token decoration for Halloween, but they also take on many life forms in the kitchen. Its sweet yet mellow flavor is perfect as a filling for ravioli with nothing more than a dairy free butter sage sauce. It can be roasted to heighten its intensity and pureed into a smooth and satisfying soup. But my favorite pumpkin concoctions are cookies, muffins and breads.
It’s cold, wet and dreary here in Chicago this week. I need an extra dose of pumpkin to soothe my soul. So I’ve declared this week as Smashing Pumpkins Week, for the sole purpose of posting a few simple yet delicious pumpkin recipes. They’re also perfect for all the upcoming Halloween celebrations. I’d love to hear how they worked out for you.
DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE PUMPKIN COOKIES
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3 c. all purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix sugar, shortening, applesauce and pumpkin thoroughly. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger and stir with a wire whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix on low until combined, scraping down sides as needed.
Using a cookie scooper, drop mounds of dough onto baking sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes or until it is just started to brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Frost with Icing (recipe below).
2 c. confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. good quality vanilla extract
3-4 T. Soy or Rice Milk (as needed for a thin icing)
Blend all the ingredients together in a medium bowl with a small wire whisk or spoon. Drizzle the pumpkin cookies with the icing or dip each cookie into bowl of icing.