In a previous article I included a picture of all the Minion pumpkins my mother and I made for Halloween. They were adorable. We received quite a few compliments on them. However, Halloween is over and now we have about 65 pounds of pumpkins to deal with.
As we did not carve them, they are still edible. We felt it would be wasteful to just toss them into the compost, and we try not to waste around here whenever possible. So we started the day long process of turning Minions into cooked squashes.
First we gave them a hot, soapy bath to wash off the water based paint. Then we cut out the stems then scooped out the pulp and seeds.
I used a colander set in a big bowl to rinse the seeds off in cool water. The pulp would sink, and the seeds floated to the top, making it easy to separate them and wash them.
We saved the seeds, setting them aside to dry. I will add here that you can use paper towels to blot them dry, but it is best not to dry them ON paper towels. The seeds will stick to the paper and you will be spending time plucking stuck, dried seeds off shredding paper towels. It isn’t fun. Ask me how I know.
After scraping out the innards, I halved the pumpkins and roasted them on a cookie sheet at 350°F for about an hour. They were then cooled, then the cooked pulp was scooped out and put into containers to be frozen. As we have a small oven, I could only do one pumpkin at a time. This took all day and most of the evening. The end result was about six cups of seeds and about 14 quarts of pulp.
I am not going to lie. By the end of the day I never wanted to see another pumpkin again. The word “pumpkin” gave me a twitch. I dreamed of evil minion pumpkins chasing me that night. It took me a few days to even want to start using the pulpy gold we had made in my cooking.
I did, though, and now I share the first of many pumpkin posts as I put the pumpkin to use in my kitchen.
I will start with the seeds. My family loves crunchy snack stuff. Roasted pumpkin seeds make great additions to trail mixes, tossed in salads, or just eaten by the handful. Some people shell their seeds. You can. I don’t. We eat them shell and all here. I have no patience for shelling. The shells are crunchy and tasty to me anyway. That will stand as my excuse.
ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
1-1/2 cups dry pumpkins seeds
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon of any of the following (or combination thereof. They are your seeds, eat ’em how ya like. We aren’t judgey here)
Or, whatever you like. Be creative!
Preheat oven to 300°F
In a small mixing bowl, combine seeds, melted butter and seasoning of choice.
Mix until seeds are well coated.
Spread seeds in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
Cool, then store in an airtight container.
Now for the reason you are reading: Pumpkin Cookies
These cookies have a cake-like texture and a pleasantly spicy flavor. The icing is sweet and sticky, also with a spicy flavor.
You can toss half a cup of raisins in with the walnuts, if you like. They will add a little more fruity sweetness, and a nice chewy texture to the soft cookie. Just a suggestion.
PUMPKIN COOKIES WITH PUMPKIN FROSTING
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and ginger.
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix until combined. Add walnuts (and 1/2 cup raisins, if desired) Dough will be very soft.
Spoon out dough onto a greased baking sheet, by rounded teaspoonfuls, about 2 inches apart.
You can also use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This helps keep the bottoms from browning too fast.
Bake at 375°F for 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from sheet while hot onto a wire rack.
Cool slightly, spoon frosting (recipe below) over cookies while warm, then allow to cool completely.
SPICY PUMPKIN FROSTING
1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons mashed, cooked pumpkin
Mix together all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until well combined and and smooth glaze forms.
Spoon over warm cookies.
There will be more pumpkin recipes coming soon! We have to use all this pumpkin somehow, and I am happy to share it with you.
Until the next time, dear readers, Happy Fall!
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