Every year since I can remember, my family and I buy a big pumpkin, carve a face in it and toast the pumpkin seeds in the oven (with salt, of course). Years ago, I tried to cook the pulp and use it in baking a pie. Another time, I tried to use the pulp in my pumpkin soup. Neither time was it a success. The pumpkin didn’t have much flavor and the texture was grainy and watery. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that the traditional pumpkins we love to carve into jack o lanterns for Halloween are considered “ornamental.” They are rarely enjoyed in traditional recipes that call for pumpkin puree. Alternatively, “pie pumpkins’ which are usually considerably smaller and rounder, have a sweeter, smoother pulp that lends itself to many recipes that call for fresh pumpkin. I have tried cooking with fresh pie pumpkins. Although they are delicious in a creamy coconut-pumpkin soup and yummy when cubed and added to a seasonal vegetable stew, for baking, I prefer the ease and creamy consistency of canned pumpkin. There are many canned pumpkin puree brands found in the grocery stores, and I’ve yet to find one that didn’t work well in any of my traditional cake, pie, and cookie recipes.
The following is my favorite pumpkin cookie recipe. It’s versatile, almost foolproof and so much fun to make during this chilly Autumn season. This homemade pumpkin cookie is a wonderful treat to prepare all season long. Bag them up and give to loved ones; it is a perfect way to say Happy Thanksgiving to friends and family, whether you can be with them or not.
Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies
Yields 20 medium-sized cookies
Oven temperature 350 F
1 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree
1 Cup White Granulated Sugar
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon & 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Unbleached Flour
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 ½ Cups Miniature Butterscotch Chips
Let’s Get Cooking
- Combine the first 5 ingredients until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the 8 dry ingredients.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Fold in the butterscotch chips.
- Spoon cookie dough onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake cookies 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool before removing from the cookie sheet.
- Love a nice soft cookie? Bake closer to 10 minutes. Love a crunchy cookie? Bake your cookies for longer…Maybe 15 minutes. Each oven is different. Find out what works best to suit your taste and your oven. Your cookies will continue to bake a bit once out of the oven.
- This cookie dough freezes wonderfully. (up to 3 months if stored in an airtight container). You can scoop it onto cookie-sized balls, freeze them and bake them off another time. They can be baked off right from the freezer or defrosted first.
- These cookies are soft and will stick together, so if layering them, place a piece of parchment paper between them.
- The cookies can be frozen for several weeks. At room temperature in an airtight container, a soft cookie will stay fresh for a week. If crispy, you can store the cookies for two weeks. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks.
“It’s your dish!”
- Substitute some or all the butterscotch chips with chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or a combination.
- You can add ½ cup chopped dried cranberries, shredded coconut, or chopped nuts to your cookies.
- If you want a lighter, fluffier cookie, let the cookie batter sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight before scooping and baking.
- You can omit the ginger, nutmeg, or cinnamon or change the quantity to your taste.