Sunday, November 21

Spiced Pumpkin Cookie Cakes

Also known as yummy in my tummy.

I was recently called as the choir director in my ward (or congregation), so in order to encourage (or bribe) people to come to choir, I decided to once again do a little experimenting in the kitchen this morning.  Now it is a well-documented fact that my culinary creations usually turn into culinary catastrophes.  But if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.*  And try I do.  So after many disasters, mishaps and a short-lived career as an accidental arsonist, I think I finally succeeded in making something edible.  At the very least, the people who came to choir after church today said they were good.

I think they're quite scrumptious myself.

I found this recipe through (a fun, fun recipe Web site), which eventually led me to the original recipe creator's site... but to save you the trouble of all that hyperlink rigamarole, here is the recipe for this perfect fall cookie.  Enjoy!

For the Cookie Cakes: 
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
¼ cup molasses
1 large egg
1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup whole milk
Confectioner's (powdered) sugar for dusting

For the cream cheese filling: 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
6 tablespoons cream cheese, softened to room temperature
¾ cup confection's (powdered) sugar
¾ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (about ½ orange)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To make the Cookie Cakes:
Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 

In a large bowl, mix together the brown and white sugars using a mixer on low speed to get rid of any lumps. Add the butter, and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and egg, and mix to combine.  Add the pumpkin puree, and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk. Mix well after each addition. Blend thoroughly, but do not overbeat.
Drop the dough by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet (alternatively, use a pastry bag to pipe the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, about 1 ½" in diameter).  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes**, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cookies comes out clean. 

Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling: 
In a medium bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, orange zest, and vanilla with a mixer. Start mixing on low speed and then continue on medium speed until just fluffy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Do not overbeat.

To complete the Cookie Cakes: 
Turn half of the cookie cakes upside down*** onto a freshly lined cookie sheet.  Using a re-sealable plastic bag with one corner cut off, pipe the filling onto each upside-down cookie cake. Place the remaining cookie cake halves (right side up) on top.

Refrigerate briefly until set, about 15-20 minutes. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

Keep the Cookie Cakes refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

*An alternative to this phrase: “If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.”  I kind of like this one better.
** I only had my cookies in the oven for 11 minutes and 30 seconds.  Adjust time according to your own oven.
*** These cookies can be really sticky.  Handle with care.  If you need to stack them on top of each other, make sure you are putting a layer of parchment paper between each cookie.

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