Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

What could be more natural to pair with a soft, spicy molasses cookie than a healthy dose of pumpkin?


These cookies are flavored fabulously with creamy pumpkin puree, which of course gives them a beautiful golden-orange hue, but definitely maintain their identity as molasses spice cookies. Besides the healthy heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, a dash of black pepper gives them a delightful kick!

After a crisp, cool day of romping through the leaves, roaming the pumpkin patch or trick-or-treating, treat yourself to a cup of tea and a couple of these soft, comforting cookies that look and taste like a beautiful bite of fall.

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies
makes 24-32 cookies (depending on size)

2 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 TB butter, room temp
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar for rolling

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or an electric mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar, molasses, and pumpkin puree and beat for 2 min., scraping down the sides as needed. Add the egg and beat for 1 more minute. Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until the flour and spices disappear. Dough will be very soft and sticky.
Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. Freeze at least 30 min. or refrigerate at least 1 hour. The dough is sticky, so the longer time it has to chill, it will be easier to work with.
Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment or spray with cooking spray.
Put the sugar in a small bowl. Working with one half of dough at a time, divide it into 12-16 pieces (each piece should be about a heaping TB). Roll each piece into a ball and roll each ball in sugar to coat. Place on baking sheet- do not overcrowd. Using your palm or the bottom of a glass, flatten each ball slightly.
Bake 12-14 min. or until the top feels set to the touch. Cool 5 min. on the sheet, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat with second batch of dough.

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