At this point in the game, I’m convinced sugar cookie decorating will never be my forte. Back in January, when I first dreamed up the idea of one sugar cookie per month during 2015, I had the fantasy that with practice, I would become an expert cookie decorator. We are ten months in, and all I can manage is little orange dots on these Halloween cookies. They are still pretty cute, but you should see the test cookies…the final ones only amounted to little frosting dots for a reason. I think I’ve finally learned that I may never grow to love cookie decorating. It always feels like so much pressure and I get so frustrated when the picture I have in my head does not translate from the frosting tip. Ultimately, I just want the cookies to taste good. So, round cookies with buttercream frosting may be my go-to from this day forward. And I’m okay with that. Continue reading
While my cookie decorating skills aren’t really getting any better with the sugar cookie of the month, I at least got to try out a fun experiment in altering the recipe: swapping out the sour cream for canned pumpkin. I’m happy to say…success!
These cookies have a very subtle hint of pumpkin and fall flavors along with maple icing. You can save these for Halloween, or skip the pumpkin shape and decorations altogether. As you know by now, I’d rather have a tasty cookie than a pretty one.
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
By Baked Northwest
Makes about 32 pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies (you will only use half of the cookie dough)
For the Cookies:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 4 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (can sub cinnamon)
For the Maple Frosting:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk (nonfat is fine)
- orange food coloring, or a mix of red + yellow food coloring (optional)
- Black tube frosting (we used store bought, and this is totally optional. If your decorating skills are like mine you may want to skip this).
For the Cookies:
In a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, mix thoroughly. Add pumpkin, mix thoroughly.
Sift together flour, salt, soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Add to butter mixture in two parts and mix thoroughly.
Divide the dough into two parts and wrap each in wax paper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. For the amount of frosting we are making, you will only use half of the dough. You can freeze the 2nd batch of dough for another use, or just double the frosting recipe!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
On a clean, floured surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Roll the dough so it’s about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick, and use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes of the dough. For these cookies, I used a pumpkin cookie cutter. Use a cookie spatula (better known as a pancake flipper) to move your cookies from the floured surface to a well greased baking sheet. Ungreased silicone baking sheet liners work great here too.
Bake the cookies at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes. You never want them to get too browned around the edges, or they’ll be super crunchy. We like ours on the softer side. Baking time depends on what shapes you cut your cookies into – we have adjusted baking times from 8-12 minutes depending on the size of our cookies. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
Combine butter, salt, maple syrup, vanilla, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add milk and remaining sugar, alternately. Mix until smooth & creamy. Add the food coloring to make the frosting orange, if using.
Frost the cooled cookies. If desired, decorate the pumpkins with fun jack-o-lantern designs. We used store bought black frosting for this, and it’s totally optional. Cookies keep well in the fridge for a up to a week, a few days at room temperature. Enjoy!
NOTE: I made a full recipe of the dough and only used half. This cookie dough freezes really well and can be saved for another use, or you can double the frosting recipe and go crazy and bake all of the cookies!
October in photos…Let’s start with the above, driving to Leavenworth for Ursula’s Bachelorette/Oktoberfest…
Popcorn! That I didn’t eat, but it looked cool. Give me cheddar and caramel corn any day, but fruity popcorn trips me out. Continue reading
Happy Halloween everyone! Today marks the first holiday in our new house and we are very excited to see all of the cute trick or treaters tonight!Tonight we are making these cute pumpkin and bat shaped ravioli – I found these at the store and screamed out “CUTE!” like a weirdo in front of everyone and had to pick up the package and awkwardly walk away.Here are some other Pumpkin recipes that would be festive and great to enjoy around this holiday (most people are too busy eating candy, but why stop there?)This Marbled Pumpkin Gingersnap Tart is a total winner – it’s almost like a pumpkin cheesecake, but it’s a bit on the lighter side.The more decadent side is this Pumpkin-Orange Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust and Salted Caramel. Try saying that 5 times fast! Or just make it to impress all of your friends.And then there is this year’s new fave – Pumpkin Soup with Bacon and Croutons. If I didn’t have the cute pumpkin ravioli, I would be eating this for dinner as I waited for trick-or-treaters. By eating this soup you can feel a little better about following it with tons of Halloween candy…I mean what?See you next year, Halloween!