Monday, September 26, 2022

Pumpkin "Pillow" Cookies

It’s that time again. When every store, restaurant, even gas stations, start pushing pumpkin spice. The aroma of the quintessential fall flavors (cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice) evoke images of cozy nights in front of a warming fireplace, wearing our favorite sweater or hoodie. And who am I to argue with this annual phenomenon? Even though it’s currently 73 degrees and sunny, I am ready for fall baking. Instead of the yearly publishing of my all-time favorite pumpkin bread, I opted for something a bit more portable - a cookie! 

The title of this recipe, from the NY Times cooking site, is pumpkin cookies, but it should really be officially re-named pumpkin “pillows.” These are like little clouds of deliciousness, bursting with those requisite autumn flavors. These have a hefty two teaspoons of ground ginger, giving them a nice bite. The recipe calls for a sprinkle of sanding sugar before baking, but I didn’t have any so I used regular granulated sugar, but next time (yes, these are so good there will be a next time) I will use the sanding sugar for added texture.

They are not the prettiest cookies  (reminding me of the Italian cookie, “brutti ma buoni,” which translates to ugly, but good), but when a cookie is this good, who cares what it looks like?! Seriously, make these cookies for all your fall get-togethers.

Pumpkin Cookies


1-1/2 C AP flour

2 t ground ginger

1-1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t kosher salt

8 TB unsalted butter, at room temp

1 C packed light or dark brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temp

3/4 C pumpkin puree

1 t vanilla extract

Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
  3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract until blended.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat just until combined.
  5. Scoop the batter into 2-tablespoon scoops, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared sheets. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies are puffed, set and spring back when gently pressed in the center, about 12 minutes. Repeat with second sheet.
  6. Transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.

Because these cookies are moist, it’s best to store them between parchment or wax paper in an airtight container at room temp. You could also freeze them and thaw before serving.

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