Celebrate pumpkin season any time of year with these pumpkin drop cookies. The pumpkin cookies are spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and a little molasses and brown sugar sweetens them. They are then sweetened with confectioners' sugar for a decorative touch. Use canned or homemade pumpkin puree to make these spicy delights.
Choosing a Pumpkin to for DIY Pumpkin Purée
This recipe allows for a canned purée, but you may want to make your own -- it isn't that hard! That starts with choosing the right pumpkin. You don't want the traditional carving pumpkin that you put on your porch. Instead, choose a sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin. They may also be labeled as Ghost Rider, New England Pie Pumpkin, Baby Pam, Autumn Gold, Lumina (which are white), Cinderella, or Fairy Tale.
Select a pumpkin that is between 4 and 8 pounds -- and skip the ones that have soft spots or bruises. Kept correctly, a baking pumpkin can store well for weeks.
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pumpkin purée (canned or homemade*)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (sifted, for dusting)
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the molasses and egg.
- Stir in the pumpkin purée. You can use a canned purée, but instructions for making your own are below if you'd like to try it.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture along with the milk. Blend thoroughly but do not over beat.
- Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 F for about 12 minutes, until set. Remove to racks and continue to cool.
- Dust pumpkin cookies with sifted confectioners' sugar.
Making Your Own Pumpkin Purée
- To make pumpkin purée, cut pumpkin in half, crosswise. Remove seeds and membranes.
- Place on a greased baking sheet, cut-side down, and bake at 325 F for 1 hour, or until tender.
- Cool for 10 minutes. Remove pulp and place in blender or processor.
- Purée or process until the pumpkin is smooth.
- Place in a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer or sieve and let drain into a bowl for about an hour. When dripping has stopped, put the purée into a container. Cover it and refrigerate the purée if not using right away.