Saturday, November 12, 2011

What to Make with a Can of Pumpkin Part 1: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies with Pecan Praline

Best Blogger Tips When the evening air begins to be cool and crisp, I start craving pumpkin spiced with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.  I usually reserve pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but I still yearn for those flavors well before the end of November. 

Many businesses start offering pumpkin bread, muffins, and cookies this time of year.  All of them are moist and cake-like.  When I decided to create three new pumpkin recipes last week, I started thinking about a cookie that was less fluffy.  I wanted something more crisp, like that chill November evening.

So, I came up with Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies.  They still have butter in them, though it is less butter than traditional shortbread.  They are light and crunchy instead of moist and chewy. If you choose to add the pecan praline topping, the cookies become like bites of pecan pie with a spiced pumpkin crust.

The butter, sugar, spices, and pumpkin puree in my Kitchen Aid mixer.
All pureed and ready to add...
flour and salt.
All mixed! 
Now, I cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.
An hour later, I flour the counter and shape the dough into a ball. 
My marble rolling pin is missing its handles, but it still works great!

I decide to use my copper leaf and pumpkin cookie cutters.

My four year-old son wanted to cut some out, too.
Now, they are ready to go in the oven!
I decided to top some of them with pecan praline.
The praline is made with egg, corn syrup, pecans, vanilla, and butter.

All mixed up!

Pumpkin shortbread leaves and pumpkin cookies.

Topped with pecan praline.



*1 stick softened stick of butter or margarine
*1/2 cup pumpkin puree
*3/4 cup sugar
*1/8 tsp. cinnamon
*1/8 tsp. cloves
*1/8 tsp. ginger
*1/8 tsp. nutmeg
*2 cups flour, plus flour for rolling dough out
*1/4 tsp. salt


1. Mix flour and salt, then set aside.
2. Combine butter, pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg in large mixing bowl of electric mixer.  Cream until well incorporated.
3. Add flour mixture little by little or all at once if using an electric mixer.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least an hour.
5.  Flour your counter and a rolling pin.  Now roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.
6.  Cut out in desired shapes.  Top with praline topping (below) if desired.
7.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350F for about 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden.

Yields approx. 2 dozen cookies.

Pecan Praline Topping


*2 Tb. melted butter
*1/3 cup corn syrup
*3/4 cup chopped pecans
*1 tsp. vanilla extract


1.  Whisk butter and egg in medium bowl.  Whisk in corn syrup and vanilla.
2.  Stir in pecans.  Spread evenly over shortbread cookie before baking.

Did you like the cookies?
What kinds of shapes are your favorite to cut out?
Did you top the cookies with praline topping?
Do you start craving foods when autumn arrives where you are?

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Easy No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust!
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