It’s funny how often accidents lead to great things. A few weeks ago, I forgot to eat the lunch that I brought with me on Thursday. The next Friday, I didn’t bring a bag to work with my lunch in it (since my lunch was already in the fridge at work). So afterwork on Friday, I ended up with a couple empty Tupperwares but nothing to carry them home in. It also just so happend that my boyfriend was meeting me after work to meet up with some friends for dinner, so I asked him to bring a sack for me to carry my Tupperware in.
Not feeling like carrying my empty containers into a nice restaurant, the only solution was to buy something from the closest store so I had a bag to carry them in. That store was Crate & Barrel. The cheapest thing we could find there was a darling set of pumpkin cookie cutters.
I didn’t have to have those pumpkin cookie cutters for long before deciding that I obviously had to make pumpkin cookies — both pumpkin shaped and flavored. The recipe I sought was just a few clicks away. I opted for the first one I stumbled upon to be honest with you, which was this one. This was my first time ever trying pumpkin cookies, but I knew before even trying them that they needed cream cheese frosting. So that’s exactly what I did. Check it.
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest (I didn’t actually use this, but I’m sure it’d be great if you did!)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 jar cream cheese frosting
food coloring, sprinkles or other decorating supplies
In a medium bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and orange zest (which I did not use).
Stir in the pumpkin.
Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. If you don’t have an actual sifter (the name of which I don’t even know), you can use a whisk to make the flour and spices nice and airy — works like a charm.
Stir into the pumpkin mixture. I can usually use my hand-held mixer for about half of the flour mixture, and then I start to stir by hand with a spatula.
Chill the dough for 30 minutes. Since the dough is easiest to work with while it’s cold, I like to separate it into two parts. That way, I can work with one part while it’s cold, and then switch it out for the other section as it warms up. Wrap each section with wax paper and pop it in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes (which are pumpkins — duh!).
Place onto an unprepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove immediately and let cool on a cooling rack.
Decorate! My favorite part … even if I did have to spend an hour and a half and go to five stores before I found orange sprinkles.