Saturday, December 18, 2021

Pumpkin-Spice Cookies

 Here at A Book of Cookrye, we believe it's always pumpkin spice season in your heart, any time of year, if you truly believe. And so, as the grocery store plays relentlessly festive music which hits the ear a bit differently as prices rise, we are bringing the flavors of autumn into our kitchen. Which brings us to... cookies! We wanted to have our pumpkin spice in cookie form, and decided to swap out the title ingredient in the banana cookies we liked enough to make multiple times. After all, canned pumpkin is about the same texture as blenderized banana.... right? 

Pumpkin Spice-Oatmeal Cookies
1 c sugar
½ c shortening
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp pumpkin spice
1½ c flour
1 c canned pumpkin
1¾ c oatmeal
½ c nuts if desired

Heat oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with foil and grease it.
Beat together the sugar, shortening, soda, salt, and spices. Mix in the flour (it will be sandy). Add the pumpkin and oatmeal, mix well.
Measure the dough into 1-tbsp portions. Roll them into balls, and press each one flat in your hands. Bake 12-15 minutes (I only needed to bake for 12). Separate them from the foil while still warm (you may need a spatula).
These cookies aren't as well-suited to leaving out on an open plate- they will go stale. Put them in a sealed container as soon as they're cool so they keep fresh.

adapted from a recipe by Mary Skurka (Whiting, Indiana), Anniversary Slovak-American Cook Book, First Catholic Slovak Ladies' Union, 1952

Today, we are using the last of the shortening.

I don't know what unnerves me more: that we bought a 3-pound can of shortening, or that we (gradually) ate it all. Anyway, in the comments to the original recipe, Freezy noted that they were a lot easier to make in a food processor. I keep forgetting that one can use a food processor because I haven't had access to one until very recently, but I'm game!

Indeed, we had these cookies mixed up in mere minutes. We had no frustrations with keeping sandy, dry ingredients from flying out all over the kitchen. Just like those gushingly ecstatic advertisements promised in the 1950s, we had cookie dough at the press of a button.  However, you should know that a food processor requires a big commitment of rack space in the dishwasher.

I firmly believe that if you have to rinse your dishes, your dishwasher is broken.

 The pumpkin cookie dough was a little bit stickier than the original banana cookies.

They baked up fine, though they were a little bit more cake-like than cookie-like in texture. Despite the big scoop of shortening and other diet-killing ingredients, they reminded me a lot of the desserts you get from a place that still substitutes carob for chocolate. To my further disappointment, a lot of the pumpkin flavor baked out. You could easily compensate for this by really putting the "spice" in "pumpkin spice." But even then, they would just be spice cookies with a little bit of a pumpkin undertone. 

So this didn't live up to my autumn dreams, but they weren't too terribly bad either. This just means more attempts are needed so we can have pumpkin spice cookies.


  1. You really do need a dishwasher to get the most out of a food processor. Washing all those blades by hand is awful! But it does make mixing up dry doughs very easy.

    Did they make it to a day later? I made some cut-out pumpkin cookies once that tasted disappointingly bland fresh out of the oven. But after a day to age, the pumpkiny undertones and spices came out a lot more, and they turned addictive.

    1. They got a little better a day later, but they had that peculiar almost-a-treat texture that you find in cookies from the health food store.

  2. This is from a blog that ended a while ago. Pumpkin pancakes. I've made them, and they are wonderful. You could certainly add some pumpkin spice to the recipe. I also thought about how they would make nice waffles, but I don't have a waffle iron. Have fun experimenting.

    1. I'd have an easier time with waffles anyway because I still can't turn a pancake.