Sunday, November 5, 2017

Pumpkin Rocks

Pumpkin Rocks
Source: Maida Heatter's Cookies (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1997 ed.), pg. 86.

It is the season for pumpkin flavored desserts. In the past, I had tried Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Gingerbread, and Joan's Pumpkin Loaf. All of them are wonderful. I think this is the first time I have tried pumpkin cookies. 

Pumpkin Rocks, despite the name, are soft, chewy cookies (the name comes from the fact that they resemble rocks). They are not too sweet. The pumpkin flavor is delicate. The lemon glaze is optional (the cookies are great on their own) but the tartness of the lemon helps enhance them. If using the glaze, be sure to have it ready as soon as the cookies come out of the oven. This recipes makes about 48 cookies.

2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 lb canned pumpkin (about 1 3/4 cups or 15 oz. can)
1 cup raisins
2 cups walnuts, in small or medium pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice. Sifting is great but whisking it all together works equally well.
Cream the butter and beat in both sugars. Add the eggs one at a time and then the pumpkin.
Add the flour mixture on low speed, beating until mixed.
Stir in the raisins and the nuts.
Use a rounded tablespoon (I use an ice-cream scoop) and place the cookies on the parchment paper. The cookies do not spread during baking so it is okay to put them fairly close together. Bake for about 16-18 minutes, until the tops bounce back when lightly pressed. Rotate the pans halfway during baking for even browning. 
While the cookies are baking, prepare the glaze.

2 TBS. butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Pinch of salt
2 TBS. lemon juice
1 TBS. milk

Mix the ingredients together. The consistency should be like soft whipped cream. You can add more milk or lemon juice to adjust, if needed. 

As the cookies come out of the oven, brush them with glaze. Transfer to a baking rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

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