Oh, hello, October--Indeed!
It's not only here, it's full on Octobering, Kids!
As you all know, we are entering my nirvana, in terms of time of year. The weather, the colors, the natural light, the scents, sounds, and of course the tastes. Oh, the many, many tastes.
One of those many, many tastes, that swirls around my head and heart is pumpkin. It's one of those flavors that just makes me happy.
And with that, I share with you the baking greatness of Baker Beth's October Cookie O' The Month.
Yes, I squealed like a tween and I am OK with it.
Just look at this cookie?! Partake of it's pumpkin greatness and please do enjoy the Fallness of it all.
FROM BAKER BETH:
Oh, hello, October. How did you get here again so soon?
This cookie is a variation – a rather broad variation – on a cookie I've been making for Christmas for years. The dough is different, the filling is different, the topping is different, but the idea is there. Kind of. Vaguely.
It came about, though, because Angelo loves pecans and pumpkin and cheese
Soft cookies with just enough warm spices to complement the pumpkin with a pocket of cheese inside, like cheese Danish but different, and a bit of glaze for a hit of sweetness but more so as a base for a coating of crunchy, toasted pecans.
With a latte or warm cider alongside? Forget about it.
Don a scarf and gather a blanket and find a nice spot under a tree.
And bring a handful of the toasted pecans with you. For the squirrels.
Pumpkin Cookies with Sweet Cheese and Pecans (Adapted from
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients a bowl and beat until fluffy and uniform. Chill until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until somewhat fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. (Note: It'll look curdled. It's fine. Keep going.) Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Scoop a portion into a Ziploc bag and snip off about 1/4 inch of the corner as for a pastry bag. Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds (like a snail) onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing at least an inch apart. Scoop a portion of the cheese filling into another Ziploc bag and snip off a small corner. Pipe a dollop of filling into the middle of each piped cookie. Pipe additional dough around and over the cheese to cover. (They'll look like little beehives.) Bake cookies until the tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk or enough to make a glaze of a thick but dippable consistency
Combine in bowl. Stir until smooth.
Toast a single layer of pecans on a baking sheet in a 350ºF oven for 12-15 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool on baking sheet. Chop finely with a knife or food processor or grind in a hand-held nut grinder (
Once the cookies are cool, dip half of each one into the powdered-sugar glaze and then into the chopped pecans. Place right-side up on a wire rack and allow the glaze to set. Cookies are best enjoyed the same day, but can be stored in layers, on pieces of parchment paper, in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to three days. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.