Friday, November 1, 2013

My Adventures With Pumpkin Cookies

The Monkey’s school holds a Fall Festival each year, and we have not missed one since she started in 2009.  The school’s PTO (which is AWESOME) organizes the festival, and the Monkey loves it.  They have games, a DJ (!), lots of food and drinks, and the ever popular classroom pumpkin contest.  Each class chooses a theme, and then the students decorate pumpkins to reflect it.  It’s really cool, because the students keep their ideas a secret from one another until the day of the reveal.  The secret keeping is amazing in itself, but what’s really amazing are the pumpkins.  This year there were owls, minions, M&Ms, and aliens.  The students put a lot of time and pride in their work.

The Monkey's Class

One of the winning entries

This year the PTO held  its first Pumpkin Bake Off.  Hot damn.  Something I might be good at.  (Spoiler Alert: I wasn’t so good at it).   I filled out my paperwork, submitted my $5 entrance fee, and then searched Pinterest for the absolutely best pumpkin recipe I could find.

I found this one.  The title of the recipe said it all.  Melt In Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies.

Each contestant had to bring 25 samples of their recipe to the event.  For a $5 fee, festival goers could taste each of the contestants goodies.  The contest was a popular one – there were 15 entries.  Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake, pumpkin truffles, pumpkin creme brulee, and pumpkin cupcakes.  This is not a contest to take part in if you are diabetic.  Once you tasted all of the treats, you had to become a judge and pick your favorite.  The contestant that had the most tickets in their ballet box won the contest.

I didn’t win.

Not even close to winning.

How many tickets did I get? 


One freaking ticket.

I am happy to say that no one in my family voted for me (we didn’t take part in the eating).  So, one person out there liked my cookies.  Or they had a heart, and didn’t want me to not get any votes.  Whoever you are, thank you for your pity.

Don't fret -- the cookies didn't go to waste.  My family enjoyed them, and truth be told, the cookies tasted better the next day.  I'm not sure, but it seemed as if the pumpkin flavor came through better the longer the cookies sat around.

Want to give it try?  Just follow the recipe below.  Best of luck! 

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies
(from Better Homes & Garden)

Cookie Ingredients
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (15 oz) can  pumpkin
4 cups all-purpose flour

Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup  butter
1/2 cup  packed brown sugar
1/4 cup  milk
1 teaspoon  vanilla
2 3/4 cups  powdered sugar
 Ground cinnamon (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cookies. If desired, sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Makes about 60 cookies.