By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
Pumpkin possibilities abound, as we’ve already found. To lick through the so-far list, we’ve lucked into and tucked into whole pumpkins, stuffed with either a hearty meat filling or a scrumptious sweet custard, followed by canned pumpkin.
It showed up in a newcomer ale-enhanced pumpkin bread, a honey-kissed pudding cake, a popular “impossible’’ pie and a creamy white chocolate fudge.
What next, then? Cookies, of course!
“We have a favorite pumpkin cookie recipe that we made every year when my son was young,’’ Peggy Abbott of Everett writes. “We called it the Great Pumpkin Cookie — maybe after Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin?
“My son liked to decorate them, almost more even than Christmas cookies! The recipe is from a can of Libby’s canned pumpkin. They are a soft, cakelike cookie, and the recipe calls for making them big so you can decorate them.
“Now, though, since he’s grown up and out of the cookie-decorating phase, we make them like a normal chocolate-chip cookie size.’’
Peggy adds, “I hope your readers enjoy this recipe and have fun making the cookies! When I was looking for this recipe to send, I found numerous recipes that I’ve cut from your Forum column over the years. We’ve enjoyed trying them and finding new family favorites.’’
And longtime Forum helper-outer, Marysville cook and cookbook author Dianne Berst tells us, “My favorite pumpkin recipe is pumpkin raisin bars, found in my books, ‘I like Cookies!’ and ‘Cookie Exchange Extravaganza.’
“I acquired this recipe some time after publishing ‘Sharing Our Best,’ and had a hard time keeping track of it in my own kitchen. However, I remembered which co-workers had asked for a copy of the recipe after I took these yummy bars to work, so I could always ask for a copy of the recipe back when I got into a pinch.”
Great Pumpkin Cookies
1cup quick or old-fashioned oats
1teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1cup butter or margarine, softened
1cup brown sugar
1cup granulated sugar
1egg, slightly beaten
1cup canned pumpkin
1cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or raisins
Decorations: icing or peanut butter, assorted candies, raisins or nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Cream butter or margarine, then gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Alternate additions of the dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips or raisins.
For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup of dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet; spread into a pumpkin shape, using a thin metal spatula. Add a bit more dough to form a stem. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until cookies are firm and lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets; cool on racks. Decorate using icing or peanut butter to fix assorted candies, raisins or nuts.
Makes 19 to 20 cookies.
Pumpkin raisin bars
2teaspoons baking powder
1teaspoon baking soda
1cup vegetable oil
1can (15 ounces) pumpkin (or about 2 cups)
1/2cup nuts, chopped
Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, oil, eggs and pumpkin. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until ingredients are moistened. Beat mixture for 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in the nuts and raisins. Pour into a greased jelly-roll pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely, then spread with cream cheese frosting and store in refrigerator. When needed, cut into bars.
Makes about 48 bars.
Cream cheese frosting
1/3cup butter or margarine, softened
1package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2cups powdered sugar
1teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and beat until smooth.
The next Forum will appear in Friday’s comics pages.