Monday, January 19, 2015

Pumpkin Drop Cookies: a soft drop cookie filled with fruit, chocolate and nuts.






This cookie is adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant New Classics Cookbook, 2001

I love to cook with winter squash, but when it comes to sweets using pumpkin, I use canned puree and skip the arduous prep. There is no discernible difference in the final product. 

This is a drop cookie - which means, mix, drop onto the parchment lined cookie sheet and bake. No chilling, no waiting. From start to finish this is a 90 minute project (based on using 3-4 cookie sheets, baking one at a time).  The instructions in the original recipe were perfect - if you use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, you'll have 42 cookies.

I'm making a cookie platter for a friend today and wasn't planning to upload this cookie (or the subsequent sesame cookie) on the blog and therefore, my apologies about the lack of process photos. I mixed the entire dough by hand, taking care to combine the fat and sugar and then whipping a bit.  I used margarine to keep the cookie pareve and it's wonderful. It may be super-wonderful to use sweet butter. The cookie is soft, with almost a muffin-like texture 

Equipment:
large mixing bowl
medium mixing bowl
pastry blender, hand whisk
large mixing spoon
1 Tbsp scoop (optional, you can use a tablespoon and put off the dough with a silicone spatula)
measuring spoons, cups 
baking sheets 
cooling rack 

Ingredients:
1 cup margarine (or butter)
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 extra large egg (slightly beaten)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (9 oz) all purpose flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2-3/4 c dried cranberries
1/2 c chocolate chips 
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Procedure:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare and measure all of the ingredients. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
2. Cream the margarine and sugar. Add the pumpkin and mix well.  Add the beaten egg and vanilla. Mix well (whip a bit with a whisk if you have one). 
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt. 
4. Mix the flour mixture into the sugar/fat mixture. Combine well.
5. Add the fruit, chocolate and nuts (if you are using). Mix. 
6. Drop by the scoop-ful or Tablespoon full onto the sheet. Leave space between cookies (drop 9-12 cookies at a time). They will not spread very much, but will puff a bit like a mini muffin. 
7. Bake 12-15 minutes (it will somewhat depend on the cookie sheet itself).  They will be a bit browned at the bottom, but will be springy to the touch on top. 
8. Remove from the cookie sheet immediately. Cool on a cooling rack. Wrap and store at room temperature for no more than a day or two. 

Other Bread and Babka recipes you may like include: Traditional Hamantachen  and Haroset Cookie Bars