Spiced Pumpkin Cookies: A Holiday Treat

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A plate of spiced pumpkin cookies

The Christmas season1 arrives in the northern hemisphere, and suddenly, everything in the shops smells like 'pumpkin spice'. There is pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin spice cereal, pumpkin spice coffee creamer, pumpkin spice Greek yoghurt, even, heaven help us, pumpkin spice hummus. When you can't devour or imbibe one more pumpkin-spice-flavoured bite or sip, you can still inhale the fragrance thanks to your seasonal pumpkin spice air freshener.

Why should we resist the trend? Let us make pumpkin cookies2. These contain, in addition to pumpkin and other yummy ingredients, actual pumpkin spices. So get out your mixing bowls and baking sheets, heat up the oven, and prepare to make your kitchen smell all festive and everything.

Ingredients

You will need: (metric equivalents in parentheses3)

  • 2 cups (≅ 480ml) flour4
  • 2 yellow cake mixes5
  • 1 pound (≅ 454g) tinned pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup (≅160ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 egg (≅ 1 egg)
  • 1 teaspoon [tsp] (≅5ml) cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon (≅ 1.25ml) nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon (≅ 1.25ml) cloves

What to Do with the Ingredients

  1. Dump all ingredients except the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add enough of the flour to make a thick batter.
  4. Using a spoon, drop the batter in round dollops onto a greased baking sheet, about an inch and a half (≅3.8cm) apart.
  5. Bake at 350°F (≅177°C) for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Let cool. Enjoy with milk, unless lactose intolerant.

Tip for bakers with OCD: Before baking, take a small juice glass and gently press down on each dough mound to make perfectly symmetrical cookies.

How to Make This Recipe Gluten Free

Use gluten free flour and cake mixes. Ensure there is no cross-contamination with your baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or disposable foil.

How Many Cookies Do You Get?

This recipe yields about five dozen metric or non-metric cookies.

1Yes, the Christmas season is also the 'holiday season', as there are numerous holidays associated with winter: Kwanzaa, for example, or Chanukah, or Winter Solstice, or Festivus, or whatever else one may choose to celebrate. However, an overwhelming desire to smell a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves is usually associated with the season of candy canes and jolly elves in red and white. Get off our case and enjoy the cookies.2In this recipe's country of origin, the US, they are referred to as 'cookies'. In the UK, the terminology may cause confusion: they're not hard and flat, like biscuits. Neither are they exactly like scones. They are fluffy, round, soft, and pillow-like. Call them, er, cookies.3Metric equivalents were supplied by a physicist, complete with a lecture along the lines of 'volumetric measurements are better for this', with comments on the unnecessariness of kitchen scales. The physicist wanted to use cc's, but the h2g2 Kitchen Police insisted on mls.4You refuse to use a measuring cup for flour? Okay. Here's a handy conversion engine you can use online. To convert substances other than flour from cc/ml to grams, first find the density (specific gravity) of the substance in g/ml at room temperature (usually about 21°C), then multiply the volume in milliliters by the density. Simple, innit?5Yellow cake mix is available in the UK in the 'ethnic' food aisle and online. Alternatively, you may purchase a mix for 'traditional sponge cake'.

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