This is the start of my favorite time of year. From October through Christmas, I’m that giddy, goofy annoyingly cheerful person everyone hates (I guess I should apologize upfront for all the merriment and good cheer that will be unleashed…mostly to the Boy since he has to live with me). While I enjoy Spring too (especially after having suffered the slim pickings of the farmers markets during the lean Winter months), this time of year is pretty much the cat’s pajamas in my book. And with more space in my new apartment, this year I can crank out the cookies and treats like nobody’s business. My first stop? Pumpkin shortbread cookies!
It all started when I was trying some of the new gelatos at the Dolcezza stand at the Penn Quarter Farmers Market last Thursday. One of their newest flavors was a Georgia Butter Pecan and it was heaven. I immediately thought a great shortbread would be the perfect dipping utensil for the gelato. Since I still had some pumpkin puree from the pumpkin walnut bread, I thought I’d add it to my go-to shortbread cookie recipe. The added pumpkin puree meant I had to tweak the dry ingredients a little (to compensate for the added moisture to the recipe). But the end result was an ode to pumpkin pie set amongst the all too familiar snappiness of a shortbread cookie. This was pretty much Fall wrapped in a cookie package…woohoo!
Recipe: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (or one cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (see this post on how to get pumpkin puree from a real pumpkin)
- 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a stand (or hand) mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy. Add the flour and beat until incorporated. Add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract and beat until a sticky dough is formed.
- Place the dough ball on a piece of parchment paper and with lightly floured hands, roll it out into a thick log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (but no more than 2).
- Take out the dough log and using a non-serrated knife, slice the dough into 1/4 inch thick discs. Place the cookies on the parchment paper and bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until they are lightly brown. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Makes 20 cookies.
Meal type: dessert