Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Please

Fall is by far my favorite season, and with the crisp leaves crunching under the soles of my boots, I feel like taking a walk in a new direction. A direction that involves more deep breathes of brisk morning air, more meditation, more time carved out for family, and more cooking.
Obviously the last bit is where you’re supposed to be excited. I know it’s been a while since my last post and I could throw a million excuses at you, but instead I shall throw you a recipe that makes up for lost time. And what do you know, it happens to incorporate my favorite fall ingredient…pumpkin.

The last few weeks I have been drooling over a local cafĂ©’s pumpkin cookies. Queenies, a small shop housing big seasonal flavors in Utica Square, has been a favorite drop in lunch spot for me since high school, so it was no surprise that I was inspired by all their fabulous fall treats. Unfortunately their pumpkin cookies aren't kind to the g-free tummy so I was once again on a mission to sate my sweet tooth.

I probably searched for an hour yesterday for a recipe that I could easily adapt gluten free without a bunch of substitutes. I've honestly always been a little leary of recipes involving ingredients like xanthum gum or 8 different flours. After a long search I settled on a couple recipes to adapt from...and then I bought my first can of pumpkin of the season, shocked that it just purchased. Usually by now the stuff is in permanent stock in my pantry.

I am not claiming this recipe to be “healthy” dear readers, but we all need a treat or two every now and then right? I am sure you are hoarding halloween candies in your households so a little butter and sugar won't hurt. Just go for a long walk in the wispy autumn wind afterwards!

I decided to test the recipe on my husband and son without letting them know it was gluten free to get a true response. They both scarfed down a few within minutes so I think that gives you an honest answer. They were pretty astonished when I revealed my little secret, and then promptly both helped themselves to another. My co workers had praise as well, and I do believe I will be repeating this for them very soon.

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
These cookies turned out cakey, almost to a muffin top consistency. Fluffy and rich inside and topped with smooth icing helps them glide down easily, and the pumpkin and spice bring all the delicious flavors of fall to your taste buds. Try and eat just one, I dare you. My son loved them without icing, but everyone else doted on them with icing. You should definitely try both! Recipe adapted from Very Best Baking.

• 2 ½ cups bob’s gluten free flour mix
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 ½ cups baker’s sugar
• ½ cup butter, softened
• 1 can organic pumpkin
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
• Gluten free cream cheese frosting (optional)


Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a mixing bowl whisk together all dry ingredients (spices, baking soda, powder, and flour) and set aside.

With a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in egg, pumpkin, and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add in dry mixture until fully combined. Your batter will be pretty sticky so you may have to scrape down the sides every so often.

Spoon batter onto cookie sheets and lightly press down. This will ensure the middle cooks all the way and allow you to create form to the cookie.

I baked there batches of a dozen at a time, for about 13-15 minutes. Watch the edges of the cookies and pull when they are slightly golden brown.

Let cool completely, then ice with your favorite cream cheese frosting!

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