What is happening to me?! I’m becoming a cooking/baking monster! I always loved baking though. And there’s nothing like baking something from scratch. It’s probably my favorite, when I have time for it. And I try to make time for it. With just me and the Huz, it’s not too hard to spend a couple hours in the kitchen, and the end result is normally satisfying.
I really recommend baking from scratch for two reasons – 1) You know exactly what is going into your food. You know because you put it there. No silly obscure scientific names, just the basics: flour, sugar, milk, egg, vanilla, pumpkin. Yum. And 2) the end result is no longer whatever the recipe says it is. It’s now part of you. Your heart (not literally) went into making that and THAT is fulfilling. I have yet to truly get there with cooking, but I’ve had some successes recently with new recipes, so that is encouraging me a lot.
I was about to finish up work yesterday with a growing need to making something pumpkinny. Did you know that you can’t always find pumpkin puree throughout the year? Reminds me of Japan with all the seasonal veggies/fruits. And that’s comforting to me. I enjoy using fresh pumpkin myself, but the process can be very messy and time-consuming. It has to be combined with roasting pumpkin seeds too. That’s just a given.
So, I wanted something sweet and something pumpkinny. I have a Pinterest board exclusively for pumpkin things. It’s delectable. I found the quickest pumpkin dessert recipe on there. The original recipe calls for all things gluten-free. I am not encumbered by the dietary restriction, so I did not use anything specifically GF. If you are, feel free to run over to that website for the alterations. This post, however, will include all the gluten-full and probably not-too-healthy-for-you ingredients necessary. Here you go!
Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies
makes 24 individual cookies (12 sandwiches)
Prep: 30 mins Total Time: 1:05
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice**
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter softened (unsalted)
1/2 cup pumpkin (you can refrigerate the remaining pumpkin in the can for about a week)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
8-oz package of cream cheese softened
2 tbs butter softened (unsalted)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
extra powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350*F
2. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt) in medium bowl and set aside.
3. Combine brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter in large bowl and beat at medium-speed until creamy. Add pumpkin, milk, egg, and vanilla. Beat until well-mixed. It will not look very nice, but don’t worry. Add flour mixture and beat at low-speed until well-mixed. Now it looks like batter.
4. Drop batter onto ungreased cookie sheets with a spoon. I cover my cookies sheets with aluminum foil because I don’t like having to wash my cookie sheets. I’m lazy. I was liberal with the amounts (about a large half-dollar size) and they turned out pretty consistent. Not smooth like the ones on the original website, but they do the job. I had enough batter for 12 cookies each on 2 pans. Bake 9-10 minutes or until until set and lightly brown on the edges. I had to go a little longer to bake all the way through (since mine were thicker). Cool on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes then set on cooling rack. Cool completely.
5. Combine all filling ingredients except for powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium-speed until smooth. You’ll probably have to scrape the bowl a few times to get all the ingredients mixed in. Add powdered sugar to the mix, one cup at a time, mixing completely after each addition. This was my favorite part. Yum!
6. Spread a layer of filling between the flat sides of two cookies and press together. You can be very liberal with this. We had a LOT of filling left over after I put a pretty good amount of filling between our cookies. We had so much, in fact, that we cut up a Honey Crisp apple and used half of it for dip and put the rest on the fridge for later use. So good. Sprinkle tops of sandwiches with extra powdered sugar (I forgot this part, but it does make them look cuter).
7. This is up to you. Depending on when you are serving the cookies, it is best to pop them into the fridge for about 30 minutes so the filling will thicken a bit. If not, the cookies could slide off each other. We’ve made cookies that we called Gobs for years (chocolate cake cookies with super-rich cream cheese filling AND coated on outside) and this is how we set them up. You can just put them on a cookie sheet to cool, or, if you lack the space, wrap each sandwich in some Saran wrap and squeeze in wherever you can find a space. Makes it easy to pack into lunches for a treat, too, throughout the week. I sent one to work with the Huz so he could enjoy it later.
Go, my baking friends! Go and bake up some October!
**You can also use 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and 1/8 tsp ground cloves.