Fall is officially here!
Personally, I broke out the pumpkin weeks ago. I knew it was still summer, but that didn’t stop me. Everybody else was breaking out the pumpkin already, so I did, too! Don’t judge.
This time, though, I’m getting more extreme with my pumpkin obsession. Before this, I had NEVER made my own pumpkin puree. Never! Can you believe it? I feel like a fraud, calling myself a pumpkin lover for all these years without having ever made homemade pumpkin puree.
And you know what? It’s not even difficult. Or time consuming. Or expensive. So why had I never done it before? You’ve got me.
This recipe is from my dear friend, Nikki. It is quite possibly the most essential recipe to fall baking. They are wonderful, and they will for sure get you into the fall spirit if the changing weather hasn’t yet!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 T orange zest (If I don’t have an orange handy, I just use lemon zest or juice.)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top– optional
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbs. milk (I use almond, but any kind will do.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- Combine the wet ingredients in a large, and mix well.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture.**
- Spoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.
- Mix butter with the milk, vanilla, almond extract, and one cup powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar until it reaches the desired consistency.
** This will be quite a bit softer and less thick than typical cookie dough. I always bake a test cookie and add more flour if needed. You can drop the dough onto the cookie sheet in rounded spoonfuls and leave the cookies as-is, or you can smooth and flatten them before baking, which is what I do. Either way is entirely fine though!
I followed Alton Brown’s instructions on how to puree pumpkin. I’m an Alton fan and trust him with pretty much any food-related information. I’d recommend clicking on the “video” tab to watch the “Good Eats” segment on pumpkin puree, but you can just read the recipe if you don’t like his show.
One last note (if you’re making your own pumpkin puree), then you can go make your pumpkin cookies. If you don’t see labels on the pumpkins, make sure you ask which ones are baking pumpkins. I assumed they were all the same since there weren’t any labels, but the woman at the Farmers’ Market told me the ones I picked weren’t baking pumpkins. The baking ones had tiny brown speckles– almost like pumpkin freckles. But you should ask if you aren’t sure.
Get ready for a potential overload of pumpkin recipes this season!
What’s your favorite thing to make with pumpkin?
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