SIDEBAR: Oh my goodness, it’s less than 2 months to Christmas – I better get ready for the 12 Cookies of Christmas!! But for now, look outside and there are pumpkins everywhere. That means fall is definitely here and so is Halloween. They come in all shapes and sizes, even white pumpkins. I had some leftover pumpkin puree (from the Tiramisu recipe last week), and thought I would make something. Truth be told, they were supposed to be spiced pumpkin cookies. I found this recipe in my archive of cookie recipes. Simple enough I thought and proceeded to make them.  I liked it – not too many ingredients, it mixed well, it baked well, it provided an aroma so beautiful that, well just say that when I’m selling my house, I know what to bake! They came out like thick rustic looking cookies. But between the “just out of the oven” and “time to pack them in a container” stages, something magical happened. My cookies turned into cake. I know, this is where the light comes on and you hear music! 

I’ve read of  various explanations for this – too much creaming of butter and sugars, too much/little baking powder, too much liquid from pumpkin puree – I like this explanation best.  Whatever the reason, I can tell you we ate them all week. The recipe made more than 60 – two or three bite cookies (there aren’t that many people living at home right now, so it took us a week to finish them).  I also made one big pumpkin size cookie and just before it was done sprinkled some brown sugar on top hoping it would magically turn into a work of art… no such luck, just looks like a dirty pumpkin.  Oh and some went to the office to a few of my wife’s colleagues – a tasting panel if you will. So here’s the recipe using up the left over pumpkin puree. They have great taste and texture. I used the pumpkin pie spice mix – the ready made kind. Yes you can make your own (this is what I use – 1 tsp each of cinnamon and ginger; 1/2 tsp nutmeg; 1/8 tsp cloves; 1/4 tsp allspice, couple of grates of fresh nutmeg – remember – taste, adjust and taste again!), but I don’t have a need to make a lot, and am sometimes pressed for time, so this ready mixed spice works for me. Perfectly mixed to give you that bakery fresh pumpkin pie aroma throughout the kitchen.

I used a large teaspoon to scoop and another to scrape/drop onto the parchment lined baking sheets. All in all, a great batch of cakey cookies. I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin but with the right amount of spice, it just warmed me up. Perfect for the kids Halloween parties at school this week – just leave out the nuts, maybe substitute chocolate chips. So try this recipe. Whatever your outcome cake or cookie – you will have a delicious tasting product.  As always – enjoy!

½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups pure pumpkin puree
2 ¼ cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsps. Pumpkin Pie spice mix or make your own (recipe above)
1 cup raisins, loosen them up so there are no clumps of raisins
1 ½ cups chopped pecans or chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375F
Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary
Whisk the eggs to combine and add to the pumpkin puree, stir together
Add this to the butter/sugar mixture and blend until combined
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spice
Add to pumpkin mixture, stirring until well blended
Add the raisins and nuts/chocolate – stir to combine
Using a couple of teaspoons – one to scoop, the other to push off the spoon, place the dough scoops onto the parchment – they don’t spread too much so you should get about 25 to a 15″ x 18″ tray
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until edges are golden – I baked for 12 minutes as I didn’t flatten out the cookies before baking
Note: I know it will be hard, but do wait for the cookies to cool, there is something about the texture of nuts when they just come out of a hot oven that really disguises their taste. When they cool you can actually enjoy the pecans
As always – enjoy!

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