Monday, October 5, 2009


pumpkin-cranberry cookies with cr cheese frosting (4)

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.

pumpkin-cranberry cookies with cr cheese frosting

Fudgy Pumpkin-Cranberry Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze
Adapted from Food Network Kitchens
Rating: 9 out of 10

Printable Recipe

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.pumpkin-cranberry cookies with cr cheese frosting (3)
(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.
pumpkin-cranberry cookies with cr cheese frosting (5)
Cream Cheese Glaze with Cranberry-Nut Sprinkle
INGREDIENTS: 2 oz. cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, very soft (I used Neufchatel)
1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp. finely chopped dried sweetened cranberries
1 Tbsp. toasted walnuts or pecans, finely chopped

In small bowl, whisk or stir with spoon the cheese. Add sugar and zest. If thinning is necessary, add lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. at a time, till frosting is desired consistency. Apply to cooled cookies and sprinkle with cranberries and nuts.


Barbara Bakes said...

I prefer a fudgey cookie too! This sounds like a cookie I could love!

Queen B. said...


Velva said...

OMG! These look fabulous! This is a great cookie idea for the holidays too.

Debbie said...

Perfect for this time of year.

the ungourmet said...

Oh my goodness! These look sinfully good! I love all of the wonderful spices!

Janice said...

I believe how good those cookies look. I love how deep they are and the nice homey look of the frosting.

Juliana said...

Oh! These cookies look absolutely yummie, like it the way you made them, very fudgy...

Donna-FFW said...

Your cookies look outstanding as always. Id love to be in your kitchen just for a couple of days. MMMMMMMM''

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

I'm all about fudgy and these fit the bill. You loaded these up with such delicious additions. They look incredibly delicious - especially with the cream cheese frosting. Their real pretty too.

Kerstin said...

Oh, these look like the perfect fall cookies!! Great pics too :)

Libby Murphy said...

Oh those cookies were made to enjoy with crip autumn breezes! Goodness gracious I think I'll make some for the weekend. You have a fabulous site.
Happy Twirls

♥peachkins♥ said...

Oh my! These cookies are gorgeous!

Sophie said...

MMMMMMM,...these pulpkin cookies look to die for,...The frosting looks fab!!!

These are excellent cookies for Christmas!!!

Sunflower Sue said...

These sound wonderful! I will be trying this recipe soon.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Gosh, these are gorgeous Judy. Look like the came off of the pages of a food magazine.

teresa said...

oh wow, these look out of this world!

darnold23 said...

These look so delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Come back to Crock Pot Wednesday when you can.