SMiLes by Meg

Pumpkin Turkey Cookies

Putting aside final exams and cramming, I love the period from Thanksgiving through New Years. So many fun holidays. So much time with family and friends. A general feeling of magic happiness with good food, buying presents for people, and snow. Also, unending opportunities to bake. 

This year is the first year I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family, so I spent this weekend in Duxbury with mine. My mom and I ran the Turkey Trot, a 5K in my hometown on the Saturday before Thanksgiving where the winning man and woman overall each get a turkey. It used to be that every age group got a turkey, but I would guess they didn’t make enough in registration fees for that to be an actually feasible long-term plan. However, during that time, I did win the 12 and under girls group, getting a turkey for my family about 15 years ago. This year, I was able to win a turkey again, coming in third place overall, first for the women. Definitely fun to feel like I was contributing to Thanksgiving after all!

Also, while home, I obviously had to make use of my mom’s kitchen, so to keep the turkey theme going, I made some pumpkin cookies cut as turkeys to supplement my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. I’m always a little worried making shape cookies that the dough won’t roll or bake properly, but this recipe has some great tips to avoid puffing cookie blobs!

First, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and pumpkin and beat until blended. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the sides as needed, and beating until fully incorporated. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes before proceeding.

Then, with LOTS of extra flour, roll out the dough until about a quarter-inch thick. Cut cookies and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put the whole baking sheet, parchment paper, cookies, and all, in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Then, bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. I got into a pretty good rotation with three pans. I’d place one batch in the oven and another in the freezer at the same time, working on cutting cookies for the third pan while the batch baked. Then, I’d pull the cookies out of the oven, switch the freezer sheet in, and put the sheet I was working on into the freezer.

Also, to get a little fancier, I decorated the cookies with royal icing. If you’re looking for a good recipe for that, check out the very first cookies I ever posted: Lil Elephant Cookies!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Turkey Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg and pumpkin puree.
  4. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, scraping down bowl as needed, and beat until well incorporated.
  5. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  6. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick, using plenty of extra flour on the surface and rolling pin. Cut cookies and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Freeze cookie sheet for 10 minutes before baking at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cookies to rest on sheet for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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