Day 21 of 31 days of pumpkin and we come to the venerable cutout cookie. These are so much fun to make with your kids. It’s like PlayDo you can really eat. These cookies are not overly sweet, which leaves room for you to utterly coat them with sugar, whether it be with India Tree Sparkling sugar, like I did, or a decadent icing. I just discovered that Amazon.com carries a full line of India Tree Sparkling Sugar, so I’m planning to stock up now for all of the cookie baking that’s going to happen in early December.
The most important thing to keep in mind when trying to roll out and cut out the cookies, is that the dough has to be really cold. In a very short time, the dough warms up and becomes sticky and gooey. It’s impossible to work with when it gets like that, so just wrap it back up in plastic and put it in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Pumpkin Spiced Cutout Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 scant cup canned puréed pumpkin
1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, spices, baking powder and salt. Mix with a whisk.
2. In the bowl of stand mixer (or using a hand-held one), cream the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and combine well, then add the granulated sugar and mix until fluffy, approximately 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and then add the vanilla and the pumpkin and combine well.
3. Swap out the wire whisk attach and put in the flat beater. In three batches, add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed. If using a hand-held, you might want to mix in the dry ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon. You don’t want to overmix during this stage. A dough will form. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. On a floured surface, roll the dough out flat until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Using the cookie cutters of your choice, cut out and carefully transfer dough shapes to prepared cookie sheet. Roll up remaining dough into a ball, wrap it back up and put it back in the refrigerator. If using sprinkles, or crystallized sugar, sprinkle onto the raw cookies and press it in lightly with your finger. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
5. After removing from the oven, let them cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes and then transfer them to a rack or a plate to cool completely. Then you could decorate with icing too.