Today is a cool day for August, and one that makes me wish for Autumn days. I’ve been making these cookies for years and years. It’s a tradition – making the cookies, and then of course, it’s a tradition for my son and I to argue if nuts should be added, or not. I, of course, say yes.. he says NO!!! (Usually 1/2 of the batter is reserved for a nut-free cookie).
You can do a light glaze, or a cream-cheese frosting (as is below), or none at all. When my son was a baby, these had no nuts added, and no glaze or frosting, either. I also reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup, and 1/2 cup brown sugar with success.
These cookies are more cake-like, than a traditional cookie… soft and moist, flavorful and filling, too. They keep well on the counter, tightly covered, and freeze for about 2 weeks, if wrapped well.
Soft Pumpkin Cookies
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin, (almost 2 cups)
1 cup pecan halves (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugars, butter, spices and extracts. Add the eggs and mix well. Mix in the pumpkin and blend for about a minute. Measure the flour, soda, and baking powder, mix in by hand and then blend with a hand-mixer until well mixed. After this is mixed, you can add the optional chopped pecans, mixing well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop by spoonfuls.. about 2 tablespoons of batter for each cookie, onto an ungreased baking sheet, or one lined with parchment paper. Keep about 2 inches apart, as these expand quite a lot. Place a pecan half on top of the cookie (optional), and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Move cookies to a rack to cool. Store in tightly covered container for up to 5 days.
This recipe makes about 6 dozen, officially. However, I tend to make these rather large, almost like little cakes, so I usually get 3-4 dozen.
Frost with Pumpkin-Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe below.
- This could be done w/o a hand mixer, but you will get a lighter cookie if you use it.
- I didn’t have pecan halves, but used some chopped pecans instead – i just sprinkled them on a few of the cookies instead of all as some do not like nuts.
- I use 1/2 teaspoon cloves instead of 1/4
Pumpkin-Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Blend the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, butter, orange juice, zest and vanilla in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy — about 5 more minutes.
Omit the pumpkin if you like. I like this recipe on sugar cookies, with pumpkin omitted, and extra orange zest added. Mmmy goodness