Pumpkin Raisin and Nut Cookies

 


It’s raining, it’s before 8:00 a.m., and I’m eating cookies for breakfast. But these aren’t just any cookies: they’re made without egg, so they’re almost more like pumpkin drop biscuits. They’re amazing with hot coffee and the latest episode of Dexter.

I got back from Jean’s memorial last night and have given myself this day to hunker down a little, do some laundry, nap, hang out with the dogs, read, watch movies…whatever. Since my folks moved to the Bay Area when I left for college, I don’t go back to my hometown for holidays–or for much, really. So going back to Eureka is always odd. Sometimes I feel nostalgic walking around the quaint downtown, getting a bagel at Los Bagels, or going to the park. But this trip was, obviously, a different one filled with days that seemed to go on forever, family friends I haven’t seen in fifteen years, and new friends from Boston that Jean loved dearly (and I can see why).

So it was mentally exhausting for many reasons. And today I’m just laying low. I do have a few people coming over to potentially purchase my Vespa (cross your fingers!), but other than that, this could be a stay-in-your-pj’s kind of day. And these are the perfect laying low cookies.

They’re easy to whip out, and you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. They’re cakey rather than crispy, and have a nice heft that’s perfect for a rainy day. When my mom makes these, she leaves out the raisins and nuts altogether. I’ve adapted the recipe to include a little dollop of icing on top. They’re perfect this way. Again, feel free to leave it out if you prefer.

Pumpkin Raisin and Nut Cookies

Pumpkin Raisin and Nut Cookies

  • Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies
  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 10 mins
  • Total time: 20 mins

Very slightly adapted from In a Vermont Kitchen by Amy Lyon and Lynne Andreen

Ingredients

For Cookies:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For Frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoon heavy cream (see directions re: quantity)
pinch of cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar.

In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin, butter, and orange peel. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the raisins and walnuts. Drop dough by tablespoonful onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing: stir in 1 tablespoon of heavy cream into the powdered sugar and cinnamon, and slowly add more until you reach a smooth consistency that you like (some people like thicker icing than others). I generally will add a little over 2 tablespoons to a cup of sugar and whisk well. Ice the cookies when they are cooled completely. The icing will dry nicely on top. These have a rustic look, so don’t worry about being precise with the icing or the shape of the cookie.

Comments

  1. Kelsey B.

    These look fantastic! I've been really into pumpkin lately and just made pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing - yum!

  2. Rachael Gordon

    For all of those out there watching your waistline; these are the cookies for you! I did some caloric research recently (as these are also my FAVORITE fall treat made by our mom!) and they are surprisingly low in fat and high in fiber! I have also been playing around with substituting the butter with homemade chunky apple sauce and it tastes GREAT and makes the cookies even lower fat/calorie! Eat as many as you want and don't feel ANY guilt! Thanks Meg!

  3. Megan Gordon

    Kelsey: brown butter icing certainly sounds amazing. I'll get on over to your site to check that out...And Rachael, love the idea of making these with applesauce. I think you're right--you wouldn't even miss the butter!

  4. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite

    Delicious sounding cookies and very seasonal! Glad you're getting to lay low for a bit and regroup - sounds like you need it.

  5. blissmamaof3

    I made your cookies today and plan on enjoying them for breakfast tomorrow with coffee. Tomorrow is a day off from school for my children. We may not get out of our jammies if the rain and winds continue.

  6. Megan Gordon

    YAY! I'd love to hear what you think...it's been strangely humid here lately, so this particular batch turned out quite moist--a little more than desired, actually. They're perfect for breakfast. Enjoy.

  7. blissmamaof3

    Just finished my coffee and cookies, an excellent breakfast treat! We're all still in jammies, it's cold and rainy outside, we may not even get dressed. I love a rainy day!!

  8. El

    Fantastic! They have a scone-like look to them. Love any cookie I can justify eating for breakfast. And, from a New England cookbook...wonderful.

  9. Barbara

    Wow. That's a perfect frosting for those cookies! I"ll leave the recipe the way it is. Looks delicious.
    Hopefully rain here tomorrow- it may end this 90° weather in S. Florida.

  10. Kasey

    I'm sort of on a pumpkin kick these days, and these cookies are even more inspiration. They look so delectable!

  11. Jessica

    Hi Megan:

    A little early for pumpkin and maybe I'm a little late on the post but I need to make these this weekend, sans raisins.

    Los Bagels - I remember speeding up to Arcata (from McKinleyville High) at lunch to grab a bagel with cream cheese, dripping with Larrupin sauce. I have yet to find a bagel that tasted that good, though I think it has more to do with that galvanized teenaged hunger than the current availability of a proper bagel. Still.

  12. Danae

    I made these with fresh sweet potato and added allspice. They are delicious! A perfect fall treat!

  13. Carla

    Just curious, have you tried these with a whole grain flour? Thank you

    1. megang

      I haven't, but I think they'd be great with spelt flour. Or 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 all purpose flour. Let me know if you give it a go! ~Megan

Join the Discussion

Early Fall Baking

Apple Picking + Dorie’s Custardy Apple Squares

Apple Picking + Dorie’s Custardy Apple Squares

Last weekend we went apple picking up near Yakima, a good three hours east of Seattle. We drove over to Harmony Orchards with our friends Brandi and John and met up with many other groups and families to amble about the rows and rows of apples in the unusually warm sun. We missed the annual picking last year as we were on our honeymoon, but the previous year was the one in which we made the colossal mistake of picking over 70 pounds of apples. I've never made so much applesauce in my life. This year we practiced restraint in bringing home a cool 38 pounds and after getting them all situated in the basement, I started to leaf through a few cookbooks looking for a great apple recipe -- something, preferably, that used quite a few apples, wasn't too sweet and could double as breakfast or dessert (really, the best kind of recipe). And that's exactly what we have in these Custardy Apple Squares. 

Read More
Dark and Spicy Pumpkin Loaf

Dark and Spicy Pumpkin Loaf

It turns out that returning from a sunny honeymoon to a rather rainy, dark stretch of Seattle fall hasn't been the easiest transition. Sam and I have been struggling a little to find our groove with work projects and even simple routines like cooking meals for one another and getting out of the easy daily ruts that can happen to us all. When we were traveling, we made some new vows to each other -- ways we can keep the fall and winter from feeling a bit gloomy, as tends to happen at a certain point living in the Pacific Northwest (for me, at least): from weekly wine tastings at our neighborhood wine shop to going on more lake walks. And I suppose that's one of the most energizing and invigorating parts about travel, isn't it? The opposite of the daily rut: the constant newness and discovery around every corner. One of my favorite small moments in Italy took place at a cafe in Naples when I accidentally ordered the wrong pastry and, instead, was brought this funny looking cousin of a croissant. We had a wonderfully sunny little table with strong cappuccino, and, disappointed by my lack of ordering prowess, I tried the ugly pastry only to discover my new favorite treat of all time (and the only one I can't pronounce): the sfogliatelle. I couldn't stop talking about this pastry, its thick flaky layers wrapped around a light, citrus-flecked sweet ricotta filling. It was like nothing I'd ever tried -- the perfect marriage of interesting textures and flavors. I became a woman obsessed. I began to see them displayed on every street corner; I researched their origin back at the hotel room, and started to look up recipes for how to recreate them at home. And the reason for the fascination was obviously that they were delicious. But even more: I'm so immersed in the food writing world that I rarely get a chance to discover a dish or a restaurant on my own without hearing tell of it first. And while a long way away from that Italian cafe, I had a similar feeling this week as I scanned the pages of Alice Medrich's new book, Flavor Flours, and baked up a loaf of her beautiful fall pumpkin loaf: Discovery, newness, delight!

Read More
Honeyed Spelt Cornbread with Fresh Cranberries

Honeyed Spelt Cornbread with Fresh Cranberries

I am writing this on Saturday afternoon on a day when we had big plans to conquer pre-baby chore lists, but Sam's not feeling great and my energy's a little low so it hasn't been quite what we'd envisioned. My goals for the morning were to repot a house plant and make some soup and I've done neither. I will say that the sweet potato and fennel are still sitting on the counter eagerly awaiting their Big Moment -- it just hasn't come about quite yet. Sam and I were both going to attempt to install the carseat, but it started to look really daunting so we abandoned ship; it's now sitting proudly in the basement, also eagerly awaiting its Big Moment. So it's been one of those weekends -- the kind you look back on and wonder what it is you actually accomplished. At the very least, I get the chance to tell you about this hearty cranberry cornbread. I know maybe it feels premature in the season for cranberry recipes, but hang with me here: slathered with a little soft butter and runny honey, there's nothing I'd rather eat right now on the cool, crisp Seattle mornings we've been having lately.  

Read More
Morning Glory Crumble Muffins

Morning Glory Crumble Muffins

I rarely make muffins at home and never order one when I'm out and about as I find they're often far too sweet and never truly that satisfying. I realize, too, in looking back at my cookbook that there's only one muffin recipe throughout. Case in point: I'm tentative on muffins. But not these. We've been pretty thrilled to have this healthier version of Morning Glory muffins on the counter this week; they have little bits of apple, raisins, walnuts, and grated carrot and are cloaked in a buttery oat crumble topping -- quite the opposite of your boring coffeeshop fare. I thought long and hard about doing a Valentine's post, some festive cookie or confection that would be share-worthy this weekend, but the more we talked about what our weekend would really look like, it involved something special for breakfast instead. I don't remember the last time a Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday, so we have big plans to have breakfast in bed and if your plans are even remotely similar, these muffins would be a fine inclusion.

Read More
Weekends and Figs

Weekends and Figs

I generally work on weekends. It's something I've come to terms with only because I know it won't last forever. I write. I bake. But those two things don't always pay the bills, so I work retail on the weekends and dream of the day when I'll have a Sunday like this one:

Read More