Once again I am being tormented by my mother’s homegrown pumpkins. What? Have you never been tormented by a pumpkin? It’s a rather common occurrence over here. I know you and I have had this conversation before.
The scenario is always the same…a beautiful bright orange pumpkin has been bestowed upon me from my mother’s overflowing garden, and it sits on my counter waiting, waiting, more waiting —until the decision has been made and the perfect use of this pumpkin comes to me like a vision.
I hope I am not the only one with pumpkin angst. Infact, I know I am not the only one since two of my mom’s guests last night went home with a brand spanking new pumpkin of their very own, and I heard them discussing how best to use it, toiling over that decision. They are pumpkin obsessed freaks (sorry Chris and Jackie!) like myself, and I am beginning to think we pumpkin lovers are not alone, and perhaps pumpkin angst is actually a quickly growing issue…especially at this time of year.
Maybe we need a new diagnosis in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders) for it. Have you ever had pumpkin angst or pumpkin envy for that matter? I believe a few of the other guests were actually coveting the pumpkin of the lucky guests who were taking it home.
Anyhow, back to my monumental pumpkin decision. Pumpkin bread, although an obvious and absolutely wonderful choice, was not what I had in mind for this lovely pumpkin, and I had already previously posted one of my favorite pumpkin desserts of all time–The Pumpkin Citrus Bundt Cake. Seriously, if there is one recipe you take from this blog, take that one and run with it and don’t look back. It even has a how-to on roasting and using a fresh pumpkin for recipes.
While I sat paging through my recipes in my backyard, I noted the ten degree drop in temperature since Saturday and the fact that Fall seemed to be stopping by to say, “Hello,” and hoping to stay. My All American Cookie Cookbook was staring me in the face while I contemplated, and generally tossed around dozens of pumpkin ideas until finally, after waiting so patiently, my ginormous cookie “bible” made its opinion heard, and I realized that Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies were the answer to my pumpkin angst.
What an absolutely fabulous decision if I do say so myself. The nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin fragrances wafted throughout my kitchen this afternoon and totally completed the Fall-ness that was setting in around my house. As I breathed it in, I thought of my favorite season which is so gently on its way, and imagined apple pies, brightly colored leaves, cool air and the fun of Halloween.
I felt a peacefulness flow through me as I took a bite of this dreamy, pumpkin laden, soft and crumby cookie which happens to go smashingly with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk. As you can see from the photos, I made them three ways…some plain and perfect, some with chocolate chips and some with pecans. Raisins are also a fabulous addition and would have been my preference if I didn’t belong to a raisin opposing fam.
Anyhow, I hope this puts an end to your pumpkin angst, and if you need to find a support group, please check in here first. We can help each other through.
P.S. I hope the pumpkin in the picture of the baking sheet with cookie dough did not escape your attention. Note that I have a SECOND pumpkin waiting to be used and the pumpkin angst has started again! Please help me by sending your ideas via the comments!
Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies
Taken from The All-American Cookie Cookbook
2/3 c. (1 stick plus 2 2/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/2 c. corn oil or canola oil
1/4 c. molasses
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. canned pumpkin (if you would like to see how to roast your own pumpkin and retain the pumpkin for cooking, click on the link)
THERE ARE NO EGGS…This is not an oversight or omission! They are soft and chewy anyways…I promise!
3 c. all purpose white flour
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. ground cloves
3/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1 c. granulated sugar
Optional: Either 3/4 c. raisins, or 3/4 c. chocolate chips and or 3/4 c. chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. What a shocker! Cover cookies sheets with silpat mats or with parchment paper. In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, oil, molasses, vanilla and canned pumpkin. Add sugar and combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Whisk together dry ingredients and then add them to the butter mixture. Mix on medium speed until ingredients are adequately incorporated. Don’t over mix. On low speed, mix in the additional options such as raisins and pecans. Bake for 14 minutes and let cook on a wire rack.