Leaves are changing colors, costumes are being contemplated and pumpkins, squashes and gourds are being decorated, displayed and eaten. It’s October, after all, and most would agree that this month is a particularly terrific one. It’s special for many reasons, not the least of which is the food that most embodies the spirit of the season: pumpkin! Once fall arrives, the flavor of pumpkin seems to make everything taste better: soups, coffees and, of course, desserts. There are plenty of fancy recipes using this quintessential autumn ingredient, but this lovely cookie, in all its simplicity and coziness, is my favorite.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup pureed pumpkin
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling: ¼ cup granulated sugar combined with 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- With an electric mixture, beat butter, cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Add egg yolk, pumpkin and vanilla; mix until fully incorporated. Combine the dry ingredients (flour through cloves) and gradually add to mixture. Mix until combined.
- Drop dough by rounded teaspoons, or roll dough into one inch balls, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle cookies with cinnamon sugar. Place in refrigerator for half hour, then flatten tops of dough with fingers. Sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar.
- Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes or until bottoms are light golden brown.