A better pumpkin cookie than my Mom’s recipe?
Welcome to the second installment in my Everything Pumpkin series. No, really. That’s sort of what it feels like in the world of food blogs, where you can find everything from pumpkin chocolate chip brownies to homemade pumpkin butter to pumpkin smoothies. And don’t forget the copycat recipes of anything from Starbucks, including pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin scones. Search Pinterest for “pumpkin” and you’ll be treated to an endless scroll of not just desserts but food for every meal: pumpkin donuts, pumpkin French toast, pumpkin tortilla rolls (seriously), pumpkin chicken enchiladas, even something identified as “slow cooker pumpkin pie.”
In my parents’ house, there is only One True Pumpkin Cookie recipe. So it’s with a hint of sacrilege that I search the Internet for anything but my mother’s traditional – but slightly bare-bones – Joy of Cooking recipe. Last year, these Craisin-filled cookies earned a thumbs-up from my father, who thought they were better than the old “family” recipe. That in turn earned a sniff of disapproval from my mother, who is never going to like anything but the JoC orange dollops.
What’s next on my Everything Pumpkin radar? Probably not pie baked in a slow cooker, however one might accomplish that. I’m leaning toward beer bread, baked with the pumpkin ales that only appear in stores in the run-up to Halloween.
If I were to copy this recipe verbatim from the source, I’d have to include a lot of asterisks. For one, it called for chilling the dough for one hour . . . and I’m the lazy baker, remember? Honestly, though, I didn’t even see that the recipe called for chilling the dough. And I wasn’t left with flat cookies, even though I hewed to my usual (wrong, I know) procedure of melting the butter before beating it into the sugar. Even in the rare occasions when I take the time to cream a room-temperature stick of butter with the sugar, I’ve never gotten anything that I could call “light and fluffy,” as this recipe – and hundreds of others – predicts. And I certainly don’t see the point in standing there for three minutes to cream said butter and sugar, when it’s as mixed as it’s going to get after a good 45 seconds. Unless you’re stirring with a wooden spoon . . . three minutes? I could make myself breakfast – albeit a microwaved bowl of instant oatmeal – in three minutes. I’m sure there’s an army of traditionalists out there to argue with me, but – hey, if the shortcuts work, they work.