Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Lofthouse-Style Pumpkin Cookies

I didn’t post any new pumpkin recipes in the fall because, well, there was only one worth posting about, and I was waiting until I had written up my post about Miss Jones. Now that it’s done, let me catch you up on pumpkin! I tried pumpkin and white chocolate blondies as well as a whole wheat pumpkin bread that were just okay. I enjoyed baked pumpkin and sour cream puddings, but I think that I was the only one who enjoyed them. (Same for these squash and orange flans, which fall in the same category for me.) And then there were Lofthouse-style pumpkin cookies.

Lofthouse cookies are soft and frosted – not what I typically eat, but certainly hard to turn down, so Lofthouse-style pumpkin cookies spoke to me. It’s super easy, too, because I actually used the yellow cake mix called for instead of making my own. And since I didn’t want a cream cheese frosting, I used a can of vanilla frosting from Miss Jones, and it was spot-on! Exactly what I wanted to eat.

Note that I always make my own pumpkin pie spice mix with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice. I didn’t have sprinkles, so I omitted them. Also, since you only need a very small amount of pumpkin purée for these cookies, so you can make something like the above-mentioned pumpkin puddings with the rest, or even a pumpkin loaf (this one or that one) and pretend you’ve got the full measure. This recipe yielded 26 delicious cookies for me.

1 box yellow cake mix (about 15.25 oz.)
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
2 Tbsp. pumpkin purée
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 jar of Miss Jones vanilla frosting (or equivalent)

Place the cake mix and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl and whisk to combine and break up any lumps. Add the pumpkin purée, oil, and eggs, and mix with a wooden spoon or an electric hand mixer on medium speed until the dry ingredients are just incorporated without overmixing. The dough will be sticky, but firm. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 350 °F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Using a spoon or cookie scoop, measure out 1 ½ tablespoons of dough. Roll into a ball in the palm of your hands and place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Bake until the cookies are light golden-brown on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes more. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then use a flat spatula to transfer to them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Generously spread the frosting onto the cooled cookies. Sprinkle with extra pumpkin pie spice or sprinkles to decorate.

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