Halloween Haunts My Kitchen

October 23, 2014


It's pumpkin season.  Which means Halloween. And all the goodies that come with.

If I were a kid I'd be thinking costumes right now. These days Halloween has me tying on my apron.  I love pie, specially holiday pies: apple, pumpkin, sweet potato, pecan. Or any variation. I do a mean cranberry pecan pie.  I also like to mix it up (in and out of the bowl). A fave holiday recipe is this one, for pumpkin cookies.  Chewy,  pumpkin-y, with a brown sugary glaze. Totally yummy. Whenever I do a holiday cookie sampler, this gets ranked #1.

It's my gift to you this Halloween season. Bake these and you'll have your little spooks reaching for the cookie jar instead of their trick-or-treat loot.
 Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

For Cookies:

3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


For Frosting:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 cup whole milk

1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioner's sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment. Sprinkle the nuts over a separate baking sheet and bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly toasted, stirring once midway through.  Set aside to cool.


In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, cream the softened butter with the granulated and brown sugars until fluffy. Blend in the pumpkin, vanilla extract, and egg, until thoroughly mixed.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  Add to the creamed mixture and blend just until mixed.  Blend in the chopped nuts.


Drop dough by rounded teaspoon (I use a small cookie-dough scooper)onto greased baking sheets, or baking sheets lined with parchment.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden.  Let cool on baking sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then place on wire racks to cool completely.


Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Add the brown sugar, and increase the heat to medium, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly.  Continue stirring for an additional 30 seconds or so, until the mixture is somewhat thickened.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.  Add the milk and beat with an electric mixture on medium speed until thoroughly blended.  Blend in 1 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar, on low speed, increasing speed and adding more if necessary, until frosting is spreading consistency. Frost cookies, working quickly so the frosting doesn't set.

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Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie on Wed, October 29, 2014 at 11:02:13 said:

I can’t say that I know what ‘penuche’ is - but it after reading this recipe - it sure looks delicious!

While not exactly a pumpkin cookie recipe, I just wrestled a cranberry sauce into sweet submission in time for a large family gathering. The cranberries were a bit early (I was making the cranberry sauce in mid-October) and they were bitter. So I added brown sugar, figs, and golden raisins to the batch. Came out perfect. I also made a homemade applesauce using three different types of apples picked by hand from apple trees on a mountain near Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home.

Love, love, love the flavors of the season. I will definitely be trying this cookie recipe!

Sandie on Thu, October 30, 2014 at 3:07:04 said:

Halloween is only just now starting to be a ‘thing’ here in Australia, and I can’t say I’m getting on board. But I seriously love the thought of those cookies. Thanks so much for sharing.

Elizabeth Hein on Thu, October 30, 2014 at 4:41:18 said:

Those cookies sound delicious. I’v never tried penuche frosting. Would it taste like penuche fudge? I bet they are great.