Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pumpkin cookies

I invented a new seasonal cookie recipe a few weeks ago, and I have to say, they are quite delightful. They also happen to be incredibly easy to make. So if you've got any Christmas festivities coming up, consider bringing these cookies. (Or you might want to check out my recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, a cookie for all seasons.)

1 box Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter flavor shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

24-30 pecan halves (optional)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, mix pumpkin bread mix and pumpkin pie spice and set aside. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, shortening, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients in three batches, mixing until smooth after each addition. In a separate bowl, mix powdered sugar, coriander, and water to make an icing.

Form dough into ping-pong-ball-sized balls and place on cookie sheet (preferably neither dark nor non-stick). Leave about 3 inches between the dough balls, because they'll spread quite a bit. Gently press a pecan half onto the top of each dough ball. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies just start to brown around the edges. Drizzle cookies with icing immediately after removing them from the oven.

Let set for 2-3 minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling rack. Once cookies have cooled completely, put them in an airtight container. Makes 24-30 cookies.