Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spicy Pumpkin Cookies, a Treat for Halloween

Pumpkins are now officially a culinary obsession of mine. Although nowadays it's readily available your long, it's mostly in autumn that I like to buy it every time I go food shopping. 
Once home, I roast pumpkins and divide them into small portions. I use what I need and freeze the rest for later. Roasting pumpkins really brings out their natural sweetness and imparts a delicate smoky flavor to their flesh. I puree the roasted pumpkin and use them in as much recipes as possible. 

This time, I wanted to use pumpkin in a sweet treat specially made for Halloween. The pumpkin flavored sugar cookies will be decorated and themed to fit for this special holiday, I love decorating cookies but I don't always have the time to do so, this occasion gave me enough motivation to get back to do what I really enjoy doing. 

Getting the cookie the perfect shape to be iced and decorated is really a tricky job, especially if you want to modify the ingredients of the basic sugar cookies, which I intended to do! 

I headed to the kitchen and played around with the basic recipe and luckiIy I got the texture and taste that I wanted. The addition of the pumpkin created a whole new flavor dimension to the cookies and even if you don't want to decorate them, trust me, you will enjoy their taste and I can guarantee that your home will be filled with an enchanting and festive aroma for the whole day!  

Let's get baking!

For the cookies you need:
  • 440 g flour
  • 160 to 180 g panela sugar (I used 160, 180 if you´re not decorating with royal icing)
  • 6 tsps of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground star anise, 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of ground cinnamon (to your liking)
  • dash of salt
  • 180 g  of butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg at room temperature (you need a small egg or 50 g of a larger one)
  • 60 g roasted pumpkin purée
Start by sifting the flour, cocoa powder, spices and salt and set aside. 
With a paddle attachment (if you don´t have one use whisks) beat the butter for a minute, add the sugar and the pumpkin purée, beat for 2 or 3 min until well combined. Add the egg and beat again for just a couple of minutes.

Add the flour mixture, and mix just a little bit at a low speed and stop even if not all the flour is combined. Drop the dough over a clean working surface and gently knead until the dough comes together.

Form your well combined dough into a 2 cm (just over 3/4 of an inch) thick rectangle  and wrap it with plastic film or put in a ziplock bag and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours or over night.

Cut your cookies using the shapes and molds you like and bake them for about 10 to 15 min in a preheated oven (180). The baking time will depend on the thickness and the size of the cookies! Keep an eye on them and bake them until the edge is slightly golden. 

If you want to decorate these cookies in a more elaborate way then follow the steps I explained in the chocolate cookies post I made for Easter!

For this occasion, I opted for a simpler decoration, I pipped the silhouettes with  royal icing and added black filigree on the edges for a dramatic finish. To give the iced cookies a vintage and darker look I used cocoa powder brushed gently over the surface of the iced cookies.  

Happy Halloween everybody!


  1. Rita: These cookies belong in a museum or high end shop. You should have your own bake shop. seriously. This is stunning. You are a true culinary artist.

    1. OMG Liz, thank you so much, you r so sweet, I appreciate a lot your feedback! So nice to read such encouraging words! Thank you again Liz!