We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cookie Recipe #322 - Pumpkin-Pecan Cookies

Today's recipe completes the bonanza of pumpkin recipes. This is a soft cookie loaded with plenty of toasted pecans. The brown butter frosting compliments the cookie, although you could leave them plain.

Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 1 cup butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted. Frosting: 6 tablespoons butter, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Instructions: Toast pecans on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until fragrant; do not overbrown. Allow to cool slightly before chopping; set aside. Leave oven at 375 degrees while mixing up cookies.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and allspice; set flour mixture aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add in egg and beat well. Stir pumpkin and flour mixture into egg mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in pecans.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Make frosting: In a medium heavy saucepan heat and stir the 6 tablespoons butter and brown sugar over medium heat until butter melts; remove from heat. Stir in sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough hot water (2-3 teaspoons) to make a smooth, spreadable frosting. Immediately frost cookies. (If frosting becomes grainy, add a few more drops of hot water and stir until smooth.)

Frost cookies with a generous amount of icing and allow to dry.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

"Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies", Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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