One last package of frozen butternut squash in my freezer begged to be used before new squash moved in. This recipe, from Food Network Kitchens, looked promising, except that the cookies were reported to be cakey. I’m somewhat prejudiced toward cakey cookies. I wanted something fudgy, not cakey. Not knowing if my goal was achievable, I decided to give it a try. By draining the squash, adding dried cranberries and nuts and subbing whole wheat flour for all purpose, enough liquid was soaked up to make this cookie soft and dense like a brownie; hence the title “fudgy.” Adding lemon zest and changing the spices a bit gave these cookies a unique spicy-tart-sweet flavor that played well with the squash. Since I halved the original recipe, my yield was only 19 cookies that disappeared all too quickly. I will make these again, because they are delicious and a perfect treat for fall.
Fudgy Pumpkin-Cranberry Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze
|INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup sugar + 1-1/2 tsp. Stevia + 1 tsp. molasses) |
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
1 Tbsp. dark corn syrup
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 cup pumpkin or butternut squash cooked, mashed and well drained
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp. lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon*
1/4 tsp. powdered ginger*
1/8 tsp. nutmeg*
big pinch ground cloves*
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1-1/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose, if preferred)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
(*You can substitute a scant 2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice for the 4 spices. )
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, on low speed, combine sugar, molasses(if using), butter and corn syrup. Stir in egg, pumpkin, seasonings and dried cranberries and mix on low speed till well incorporated. Let mixture sit for 15-30 minutes.
Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and nuts, and mix till well combined.
Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
(I like to line my cookie sheets with parchment paper, which can be wiped clean and reused several times.) Bake about 10 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted in center returns almost clean. Cool on wire rack. When cool, ice with cream cheese glaze and sprinkle tops with chopped cranberries and crushed nuts.