The local farmer’s markets are in full swing again, and it’s about time because my stock of frozen produce is dwindling—including the many containers of pumpkin puree I baked and bagged in October. I make a lot of pumpkin soup, but I also use it in baking because it produces moist, melty treats without adding a lot of fat. Because I’ve already prepped and measured it out, it’s basically thaw and go. Of course, canned works just as well for most things but it’s nice to have the option.
Here’s a recipe for pumpkin cookies that really do taste like what my grandma used to make. She taught me to bake while she babysat me, and I’ll always remember standing on a stool in her kitchen while she let me get my hands into the sticky, floury, sweet-scented bowls of dough. This isn’t her recipe, but it’s the type of thing she’d make—practical, plentiful, and tasting like home. These aren’t super-sweet, but you can adjust the sugar to taste.
- ½ cup butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1.5 cups of pumpkin puree
- 2.5 cups flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
- 1 cup seedless raisins (I use Thompson)
Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla and beat until light. Then add the pumpkin puree.
Sift dry ingredients together and fold into the wet until just mixed and no dry flour shows. Then stir in nuts and raisins.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Moisture can vary when using fresh or frozen pumpkin, so take note of the consistency of the batter. It will be quite sticky but should hold its shape when spooned onto the cookie sheet. Add a little flour if it wants to spread or run.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes. The cookies should be golden brown on the bottom when they’re done. Makes about 4-5 dozen. These cookies freeze well (if they last that long!).