Let's Give 'em Pumpkin to Talk About
Cookies & Soup
In my family, October marks the start of pie season: Pumpkin, apple, and rhubarb, namely. I've never much been one for pumpkin pie, though that is the family favorite to make when Thanksgiving approaches. When I was little, my Auntie used to invite us into the kitchen to support with the pie baking. She would tie our aprons around us, constructed appropriately for children our size, in colors and patterns that would now be considered vintage.
Everything was always homemade. I recall my mum and Auntie making the ice bath and dividing the cold butter to create a lumpy mix that would transform into the delicate, flaky pie crust. We, of course had minis - pie dishes, approximately 3" round, and we would eagerly mold the scraps into pies of our own, complete with the leftover filling, placing them in the oven with the more authentic pies. The result were individual pie servings that we didn't have to share.
As I got older, I grew out of any sweet tooth I may have had. My love for baking, however, never waned. I came across a recipe for these perfect pumpkin cookies one fall, and they became an annual tradition for me to bake. These cookies are not only easy to make, but they turn out perfectly soft and cakelike every time. If you want to be a hero at work, at school, or at your next Halloween get together, try these! Every year I bake a double batch and assort them into fall or Halloween inspired cardboard boxes with patterned tissue paper for a festive feel, distributing them to friends, family and coworkers.
PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup of butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat.
Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Mix well.
In another bowl beat the pumpkin pie spice, butter, and sugar together with a mixer until creamy. Add the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture until just combined.
Drop by the spoonful onto the silpat mat lined baking sheet; flatten slightly. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 3-4 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp melted butter
Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Place the cookies on a wire rack over waxed paper. Spoon the icing over the top of each cookie. Serve with an ice cold glass of milk. Enjoy!
A few years ago I was living with my then boyfriend just outside the quaint Village of Cazenovia, New York. Cazenovia is a small, upstate lakeside Village, not very different from where I grew up. In fact, our schools were rivals, both being lakeside communities. The never ending debate was which had the better quality-of-life. I'm Switzerland; I loved living in both places.
It was the perfect fall day. My boyfriend, a news anchor, worked odd hours and I was left home to entertain myself. The house was located outside the Village on a dead end road tucked deep in the woods. This made for beautiful surroundings, but a lot of work in autumn. After a busy day clearing the deck, back patio, walkways, and driveway of the colorful falling leaves (no easy task), I took a welcome break to the grocery store and farmer's market.
I had quite the haul from both, and ended up with a fresh fall menu, that was to be celebrated. The pièce de résistance was this pumpkin bisque. I had planned for leftovers that could be packed for lunches but, as has been said, "the best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.”
- 1 medium onion, grated
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 15 oz. cans pumpkin puree
- 4 cups chicken stock (low sodium)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (I actually used half and half and it was just as good!)
- 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
- salt to taste
- Pumpkin Seeds or Walnuts
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the grated onion - cook until soft (approximately 3 minutes). Stir in the pumpkin puree, chicken stock, cream, pumpkin spice and salt. Heat through - approximately 3 more minutes. Ladel into bowls and top with toasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds.
I adjusted the recipe slightly so it is recommended to taste during cooking to make sure you have the preferred amount of spices. Don't be afraid to get creative - next time I may add some cayenne, curry, or paprika for added depth of flavor. I added a few slivers of sharp cheddar in addition to the walnuts - YUM! We served with flax toast, cut into strips and topped with a mixed mushroom pesto from the market.
The full menu included:
- Pumpkin Bisque
- Balsamic Ginger Chicken (cooked in the air fryer, more on that another time!)
- Swiss Chard
- Pumpkin Cookies