Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pumpkin Hermits

     Like most of you, I have been out and about getting ready for the holidays. That doesn't mean I haven't been in the kitchen a bit though. After all you need some sustenance to get through all that shopping.

     This recipe is a variation of one of my mother's, and father's, favourite cookies, hermits. I don't actually have my Mom's recipe for the original and this is my friend Erica's recipe for the variation. These are great little spice cookies; light, not too sweet and the pumpkin makes them really moist with just a hint of an aftertaste. They are easy to make and this recipe makes a lot, which is always good in my book.

That's Erica, the slightly singed brownie, with another friend Haley.
When I was talking about cooks who can whip  amazing things up off the top of their heads, I was talking about Erica.

Pumpkin Hermits
¾ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or fresh, strained *
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt**
1 cup dates or raisins
1 cup pepitas (raw shelled pumpkin seeds) /nuts
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, pumpkin puree and molasses.
Whisk together all dry ingredients, except raisins and nuts. Add to the pumpkin mixture, mixing until well combined. Stir in raisins and nuts.
Drop by rounded tablespoons on to parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until firm to the touch.
Makes about 60 cookies.
* The straining is optional. Sometimes pumpkin puree can hold a lot of extra moisture.
** I omit the salt.

     I love both variations of these cookies and will post Mom's version when I get it. It's always nice to have these around when you are looking for something that isn't super sweet.

     I use raisins and pecans when I make mine. I don't particularly like the pepitas and my Mom's recipe uses raisins and walnuts. Not a big fan of those either, everything has walnuts in it and there are so many other different kinds of nuts out there to try in your baking.

    You can actually use almost any kind of roasted squash for pumpkin. It will change the taste slightly, but they are interchangeable. This is where Jack from Halloween goes at my house. I use a battery powered light in my jack o' lantern so no wax or singeing and it gets cut up and roasted the day after. Another, nothing gets wasted tip. Enjoy.

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Thanks for your comment, I hope you enjoyed your time in the "Kitchen".