Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Puree & Pumpkin Ginger Cookies with Walnuts
It’s still pumpkin season, right?
I know the answer to that. The answer is yes. It’s just that the food blog world moves on quickly. According to the rules of food blog culture, I should have posted this pumpkin puree recipe back in October, or maybe even September…
At least I got it right with my Octobery Japanese Pumpkin Soup recipe post. But seasonal blogging is hard. (Not to be confused with seasonal eating, which is not.)
What’s tricky for me is the turnover rate. I cook something delicious, then I kick myself for not taking photos. Then– weeks later– I cook something a second or third time, and actually stop to take photos, measure, and record the ingredients. Then I feel a nice sense of accomplishment. Then there’s another delay.
This delay can last anywhere from several hours to many months.
This delay involves me thinking it’s too much effort to type up the recipe from my magnetic fridge notepad, or to transfer my photos from my camera to my laptop, or to slideshow my way through the photos and pick out some favorites.
This delay also involves me cooking faster than I can blog. I’m inevitably in a hurry to first post all of the recipes that are about to become… not seasonal (!), so I push any dishes with a little seasonal leeway along for another few weeks.
If you’re wondering what the delay was for this particular recipe, it’s been a mere three weeks since I made and devoured these cookies! Not bad. I just wish we still had some around…
These cookies were a little cake-like in the centers, but they also crisped up nicely on the bottoms and got a boost of extra crunch from the walnuts. The candied ginger complemented the subtle pumpkin flavor nicely. (And a little candied ginger goes a long way– sprinkle on just a bit more if you want to intensify the spice.)
Thanks to a genius tip from Heidi of Lightly Crunchy (roast your pumpkins whole!), homemade pumpkin puree just got even easier to make. Especially if you’ve gone through several cans of canned pumpkin this season already, then I’m talking to you: make your own!
Your house will smell like roasting pumpkins, and the puree freezes well. So when the craving strikes, you can pop some out of the freezer, and make completely non-seasonal pumpkin pancakes some weekend in March for your Sunday brunch.
I’m guilty of this. And I highly recommend it.
Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Purée
(Inspired by this Lightly Crunchy post.)
(Makes a little over 2 cups of purée for each ~2-lb. pumpkin)
~ pie pumpkin(s); I used two 2-lb. pumpkins
How to make it:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce each pumpkin 4-5 times with a sharp chef’s knife. Place pumpkin(s) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
2. Roast for 1 hour, or until the pumpkins are very soft and easy to pierce with a knife. Remove from oven and let cool at least 20 minutes.
3. Cut the pumpkins in half, then use a spoon to scoop out the central seeds and goop (discard this, or save the seeds to make a crunchy roasted pumpkin seed snack!). Next use a spoon to scoop out the roasted pumpkin, and purée in a food processor until smooth.
4. Freeze purée in 1- or 2-cup airtight freezer-safe containers, or use some to make Pumpkin Pancakes, or Pumpkin Ginger Cookies with Walnuts!
Pumpkin Ginger Cookies with Walnuts
(Makes 3-4 dozen cookies)
~ 2½ cups flour
~ 1 tsp. baking soda
~ ½ tsp. baking powder
~ 1½ tsp. cinnamon
~ ¼ tsp. nutmeg
~ ⅛ tsp. ground ginger
~ ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
~ ¼ tsp. salt
~ ½ cup butter, softened but not melted
~ ¾ cup sugar
~ ½ cup brown sugar
~ 1 egg
~ 1 cup pumpkin purée
~ 1 tsp. vanilla
~ 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
~ 5-6 pieces of candied ginger, finely diced (2-3 Tbsp. diced)
How to make it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Then beat in the egg, and stir in the pumpkin and the vanilla.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Mix the chopped walnuts into the cookie dough.
4. Drop about 2 Tbsp. of dough per cookie onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Then gently press several bits of diced candied ginger into the top of each cookie.
5. Bake for 13-16 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, then transfer to cooling racks.