These spiced pumpkin cookies are soft cake-like and beautifully flavoured. Enjoy them plain or decorate them with spiders and webs! They make the perfect kid's treat for Halloween.
I picked a pumpkin last week and I think I might spend all of October eating it. I carve a bit off and it still looks almost as big as it was before. It wouldn't be so bad if the rest of this household loved pumpkin.
Although I love pumpkin and squash and would like to make lots of roasted vegetable dishes, I think I might be the only one eating them.
My lovely husband was not quite as lovely as normal the other night when he actually refused to eat my delicious pumpkin creation and went and got a pizza out of the freezer. Well, more for me, although pumpkins are pretty big so that means a lot lot more.
The Inspiration for these Halloween Pumpkin Cookies
It seems I'm going to have to disguise the pumpkin and add it to cakes and biscuits instead of savoury dishes. It was largely the rest of my family's reluctance to eat pumpkin that inspired me to make these biscuits!
Yes, I do my best to turn everyone's picky eating into a positive!
As Halloween was approaching when I developped this recipe, I wanted them to embrace the spooky theme. I adapted a recipe from All Recipes but decorated them in my own way.
How do you make the spider decoration?
I've decorated these cookies with melted chocolate. The easiest way to do it is to use packets of chocolate buttons. Fill a saucepan with boiling water and put the packets in the water. Leave them for a minute.
Take the chocolate button packets out of the water. Dry them and squish them between your fingers. If you can feel hard bits of chocolate still then just put the packets back in the hot water.
When the chocolate has melted, snip off a corner of the packet and drizzle the chocolate onto the top of the cookies in a circular motion followed by some lines across going through the middle to make the chocolate spider's webs.
Finish by putting an unmelted chocolate button onto each cookie to make a spider's body. Then squeeze a little more melted chocolate on to make the spider's legs.
How did I adapt these Halloween pumpkin cookies?
I adapted the pumpkin cookie recipe to make it a little healthier and to suit the ingredients I had. Firstly I used half the amount of sugar as it looked like the original recipe would have made very very sweet pumpkin cookies.
Then I used mixed spice instead of individual spices. Even with half the sugar, the pumpkin cookies were still sweet enough for me and if you put a little icing on the top it makes them even sweeter.
What is the texture of these pumpkin cookies like?
I was hoping the recipe would give me lovely moist maybe slightly chewy cookies. What I got was lovely moist light cakey cookies. The consistency was definitely more cake than cookie.
Now, that wasn't a problem as I love cake and even if it comes in the disguise of a cookie, I won't complain. However I do feel it's fair to warn you in case you also have two thirds of a huge pumpkin staring at you across the kitchen.
And just in case you are rather particular about the consistency of your cookies!
As you can see, I used melted chocolate in an attempt to make a spider's web decoration on top of the cookies. I then used chocolate buttons to make the spiders. I didn't manage to make them quite as neat as I'd have liked but I did enjoy making them. And I enjoyed eating them even more!
Could you adapt these spiced pumpkin cookies?
I'm all for adapting recipes to suit the ingredients I have at home. The first way you can adapt these is to vary the spices. If you have a jar of pumpkin spice then do use that. Of just use a little cinnamon. Or a mixture of ginger and cinnamon.
You could also adapt the way you decorate them. I used melted chocolate but it can be quite difficult to work with. You could just buy tubes of chocolate icing to make it easier.
What is Pumpkin Puree?
Pumpkin puree is just cooked pureed pumpkin. You can buy tins of it or you can make your own. Do whatever is easiest but do be aware that tinned pumpkin puree is sometimes sweetened so you may end up with sweeter cookies than if you make your own.
If you do want to make your own pumpkin puree, it's very easy. Just steam or roast slices of pumpkin or squash and then use a blender to make a puree. If you make too much you can store it in the fridge for a few days or put it in the freezer until you need it.
It will freeze for up to three months.
You can also roast the seeds with salt and pepper to avoid wasting them too!
Storing and freezing these cookies
These cookies will keep well in an airtight container for about three days.
You can also freeze them but it is best to freeze them before decorating. Just put them in an airtight container and they will keep for about 2-3 months. Defrost at room temperature for about an hour before eating.
Do you need more recipes to use up a pumpkin or Squash?
How about one of these?
- Salt and pepper pumpkin seeds
- Pumpkin and apple muffins
- Pumpkin and feta quiche
- Chocolate chip pumpkin cereal bars
Spiced Pumpkin Cookies
- 300 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsp mixed spice Or use pumpkin spice
- 150 g caster sugar
- 125 g butter
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g pumpkin puree
To Decorate (optional)
- 60 g white chocolate buttons I used 2 bags weighing 30g each
- 60 g milk chocolate buttons I used 2 bags weighing 30g each
- Turn the oven on to 160C (fan). Line 4 baking trays with baking paper.
- Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice in a bowl.
- Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together. Add the egg, vanilla and pumpkin puree. Beat together.
- Add the bowl of dry ingredient to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix together.
- Using a tablespoon, put spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking trays, leaving a gap around each cookie as they will spread in the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Leave the cookies to cool on a wire rack.
- Boil a kettle and pour the water into a bowl. Put a packet of white and a packet of milk chocolate buttons in the hot water. Leave for a minute.
- Take out one of the packets of chocolate buttons and dry it on a towel. Squish it between your fingers to check that the chocolate is fully melted. If necessary put it back in the hot water.
- Snip off a very tiny corner of the packet and squeeze out the chocolate to make a spider's web shape on half the cookies. Stick a chocolate button of the opposite colour onto the spider's web. It will stick to the wet chocolate.
- Repeat with the other packet of melted chocolate.