Pumpkin butter cookies

Ah…here come the pumpkin recipes. But really, here come the memories of falls and Halloweens past. For some reason, fall is the most nostalgic season for me. Not that I’m nostalgic for wholesome things.  While I like to think the things I cook for myself and eat as an adult are technically and nutritionally superior, I still crave those junk food flavors I remember so well from growing up. These cookies were inspired by a seasonal snack put forth by the good people at Little Debbie, called Pumpkin Delights. A brief description: smushy, dark cookies, with pumpkin jam embedded in a jack-o-lantern happy face. Is it a happy face? I wasn’t about to do that, but I use the concept as inspiration for these chewy, molasses cookies with homemade pumpkin jam. Just the right amount of sweet and perfect, chewy texture I remember.

Pumpkin butter cookies ( cookie base adapted from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, 2005)

Yields between 24-30 cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
For the pumpkin butter:
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2-3 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Preparation
Begin making the cookie dough. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until combined and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and mix to incorporate. Combine with the flour mixture until a dough forms. Put in the fridge to firm up a bit.
Meanwhile, begin the pumpkin butter. Combine all ingredients in a small pot, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or so. Watch and stir occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick to the pot. Preheat the oven to 350.
To assemble the cookies, prepare a baking sheet with tin foil or wax paper. Using a tablespoon, pinch off pieces of cookie dough and roll in small balls. Using the back of the teaspoon, press the balls down to create a small thumbprint. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of jam to cookie thumbprint. Using the teaspoon, pinch off another, smaller piece of dough and create a second ball. Place on top of the jam, and press down to spread out, creating concentric circles. Repeat. Bake for 10-15 minutes. You will have a lot of leftover jam to use, by the way.
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