2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (260 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil or corn oil (or other flavorless oil)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (215 grams) pumpkin puree
Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces (115 grams) room temperature cream cheese, regular or low fat
2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Note: Instead of frosting the cookies, you could add to the batter either 1 cup of chopped nuts or 1 cup of chocolate chips.
For Pumpkin Cookies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Using 1/4 cup of batter (can use a small ice cream scoop or measuring cup) place small mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Place small dollops of the frosting on each cookie or put the frosting in a piping bag, fitted with a small plain tip, and pipe swirls of frosting on the top of each cookie. Store frosted cookies in the refrigerator.
Frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter until soft and creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla until the frosting is soft and creamy and of spreading consistency.
Makes about 18 cookies.
I am always on the look out for a good cookie recipe to add to my collection. Pumpkin Cookies are my latest addition. It seems that cookies can be classified as either everyday, holiday, or seasonal. I would put Pumpkin Cookies in the seasonal category as they have the look, smell, and taste of Fall. Pumpkin Cookies are a soft and spongy textured cookie with the earthy flavor of pumpkin and its complementary spices (ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves). They go very well with a tangy cream cheese frosting. But if you are putting these cookies in your child's lunchbox, you may want to leave off the frosting and instead add either one cup of chopped nuts or chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk) to the batter.
When you read through the recipe you may be surprised to find oil listed as one of the ingredients. Most Pumpkin Cookie recipes use butter, but while oil may be tasteless and odorless, it makes up for this by giving the cookies a lovely soft and spongy texture, similar to that of a moist cake. I adapted this recipe from Elinor Klivans' Big Fat Cookies which is a perfect name for these these cookies as they are just that, big and fat.
To make our lives easier we really do not have to make our own pumpkin puree as there are excellent brands of canned pure pumpkin on the market today. Just make sure you do not buy the pumpkin which already has the spices added to it. That being said, if you have the time and are so inclined, you can make your own puree using the smaller pumpkin varieties like Sugar Pie, Baby Bear or Cheese Pumpkin (approximately 5-7 lbs., 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 kg.). To begin, first cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove all the seeds and stringy fibers, and then place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours (depending on size) or until easily pierced with a knife. Scoop out the pulp and puree in a food processor until smooth. You do need to extract all the liquid, so strain the pumpkin through a cheesecloth lined strainer and then cool the puree before using.