Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Cookie Bonanza Part I

I've noticed when I bake, it tends to come in waves. I will go weeks without turning on my oven and then all of a sudden my kitchen explodes with baked goods. I don't intend for this pattern to emerge, it just so happens that I guess opportunities to pawn of desserts on others come in bunches. Who knew? Anyway, I made two batches of cookies this past weekend. One for a family dinner and one for a tailgate party before the 49er game tonight (wooohooo!). I thought it might be fun to share them as possible Thanksgiving treats this week. I think cookies are a really nice complement to pie because they are more casual and easier to eat. So it provides a nice alternative and balance. The first recipe, Snickerdoodle Cookie Sandwiches with Pumpkin Filling, would be great if you aren't a fan of pumpkin pie, but still want some pumpkin flavor, because it is Thanksgiving after all. I know a lot of people who don't like the texture of pumpkin pie, but do like pumpkin flavor. So this recipe is a great option. Tomorrow's recipe is a great chocolate sugar cookie with amazing frosting that is the perfect base for fall sprinkles or decorations. That recipe would be a great option for a chocolate dessert to accompany a pumpkin or pecan pie. Of course, you can do anything you want, but I just thought I would provide a few suggestions in case you were suffering through a major menu brain freeze!

Snickerdoodle Cookie Sandwiches with Pumpkin Filling
recipe from here

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter- room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

for rolling:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

pumpkin filling:
4oz cream cheese, softened.
2 tablespoons of softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar- sifted
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ginger
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
pinch of cloves

I started by whisking together the flour, cream of tartar, salt and baking soda, then setting that bowl aside. In a large bowl I creamed the sugars and the butter until nice and creamy.
 Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Put the bowl in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, mix together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Form the dough into balls. I made mine about an inch. They were too big. Trust me. You want the balls to be about 1/2 of an inch. Which seems crazy tiny. But they really flatten and since they are sandwiches you want the cookies small. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mix.
Bake for about 10 minutes until they start to form lines in the dough. You can see the creases and that generally means they are done.
Cool completely on racks.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and the cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and mix. Add the pumpkin and the spices. The mixture is pretty runny for frosting, but that's ok.
Match together your cookies by size and scoop a dollop of frosting into the center of the cookie. You don't want to spread it out too much, because when you put the top of the cookie on, it really spreads.
Leave out for an hour or two to harden a bit. It will never be completely solid, but will firm up a little.

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