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Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Puree & Pumpkin Ginger Cookies with Walnuts

November 5, 2012

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…

You know, when I was still busy posting summery recipes for black sesame ice cream, and heirloom tomato tarts.

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.

Print both recipes.
Print Pumpkin Purée recipe only.


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!

Print both recipes!
Print Pumpkin Purée recipe only.
Print Pumpkin Cookie recipe only.

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.

Print both recipes!
Print Pumpkin Cookie recipe only!

Related recipe posts:
> Gluten-free Halloween Cupcakes (with Cream Cheese Frosting)
> Pumpkin Pancakes
> Japanese Pumpkin Soup with Leeks (Kabocha Soup)

52 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2012 9:49 am

    Beautiful photos! I love the bright orange of the pumpkin mash.

  2. November 5, 2012 9:52 am

    These recipes look great–I may try the puree this afternoon. I’m wondering where you stand (metaphorically speaking) on silicone baking sheets. They seem more environmental than parchment paper, but I’ve never used them.

    • November 6, 2012 4:45 pm

      Thanks, Madeleine! Did you get a chance to try making the puree? Silicone sheets definitely seem more environmental than parchment paper, but I’ve been trying to spend less money on accessories for my kitchen, so I still haven’t invested in any… they’re on my list!

      • September 18, 2013 8:39 pm

        Hi Allison. Wow–somehow, I didn’t see your reply until now. I’m still considering buying a silicone sheet, but hoping to find one on sale!

      • September 19, 2013 9:53 am

        Same here! I haven’t bought one yet either… someday. :)

  3. November 5, 2012 10:45 am

    The cookies look great and roasting the pumpkin whole is a great idea (we will be trying it)..

    • November 6, 2012 4:46 pm

      Thanks! It definitely makes things a lot easier to roast them whole.

  4. November 5, 2012 11:37 am


    I am so stubborn about the seasonal thing… I’m not eating anything peppermint-swirly right now just so I can get it on the blog in time for Christmas!

    • November 6, 2012 4:49 pm

      I know, I feel the same way! I can never get it together to make holiday recipes early enough to put them up on the blog before the holidays happen… (so far it’s only happened with Halloween cupcakes, but that was a guest post by my girlfriend!)

  5. November 5, 2012 11:50 am

    Definitely went all pumpkin out my friend this looks awesome :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. November 5, 2012 12:09 pm

    This looks delicious!

  7. Jessica permalink
    November 5, 2012 12:58 pm

    I’ve been known to stock pile cans of pumpkin when they go on sale after Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll try making my own puree this year instead!

    • November 6, 2012 4:53 pm

      Not a bad thing to stock pile… but you make so many things from scratch already, and this is a super easy one!

  8. November 5, 2012 3:20 pm

    Glad you liked the roasting whole method. Those cookies look delicious. I love candied ginger.

    • November 6, 2012 4:54 pm

      Thanks, Heidi! And thanks again for the wonderful idea!

  9. November 5, 2012 3:24 pm

    I just posted my recipe for the day and went to see what my favorite food bloggers were up to and found this gem. I have pie pumpkins and made something with pumpkin puree today, and I didn’t even think to make my own pumpkin puree. (Note to self: see what other bloggers are up to first, THEN cook for the blog.) This looks amazing, though. I’m jealous, to say the least.

    • November 6, 2012 4:57 pm

      Haha, I can understand how you feel… I am constantly making that same note to self– see what other bloggers are up to first. I just wish there were more hours in the day to stay up to date on the latest from all the blogs I love… there are so many great ideas out there!

  10. November 6, 2012 2:18 am

    I always make my own pumpkin puréé becasue it doesn’t excist in a can over here in Belgium! It is a lot of work though & I put it in my freezer. Eeasy! Your cookies look so tasty! Yumm!

    • November 6, 2012 4:59 pm

      Oh man, no canned pumpkin? I should have asked you for homemade pumpkin puree tips! Luckily it’s easy to make a big batch of it at once and freeze. :)

      • November 7, 2012 1:03 am

        :) You do it well, but I freeze it into smaller batches!

      • November 7, 2012 9:13 am

        Yep, I can see how that’d be useful! :) I need to acquire more smaller freezer-safe containers first… Luckily it’s not that hard to defrost it, use some of it, and stick the rest back in the fridge or freezer.

  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook permalink
    November 6, 2012 9:54 pm

    I actually never seen the whole process of roasting the entire pumpkin and making into puree. This was a fun post and I learned how to do it! I initially thought I cut in half and remove seeds etc then roast. I think it’ll be fun to see how pumpkins get roasted this way. :) And looks so good. I love pumpkin!!

    • November 7, 2012 9:16 am

      Hi Nami, your initial thought was right! I think that’s how most people roast pumpkins (and how I’ve done it before) … you cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, then roast the two halves (face-down) on a baking sheet. But now I know that roasting it whole is so much easier, because once the whole pumpkin’s roasted and soft then it requires so little effort to cut it open and remove the seeds, compared to when the whole thing’s still hard as a rock.
      I loooove pumpkin, too! :)

  12. November 6, 2012 11:53 pm

    I can eat at least 3 of those with some hot tea!

    • November 7, 2012 9:17 am

      Sounds great! I definitely ate more than my share of them… :)

  13. November 7, 2012 1:16 am

    lovely… simple and tasty recipes! ;)

    • November 7, 2012 9:19 am

      Thanks! Yes, I generally keep things simple on the dessert-front (even though I dream of things like fancy pumpkin swirl cheesecakes…) because I’m not much of a baker, but both of these recipes are simple and tasty, like you said! :)

      • November 8, 2012 12:39 am

        So do I, dreaming on superlative and super-elaborated desserts, but then I think that the best flavours and dishes are the simple ones!

  14. November 7, 2012 3:41 pm

    Hmm Alison, this looks so seasonal and scrumptious, look forward to trying out!

  15. November 8, 2012 6:39 pm

    Snap to all those comments – the delays/the writing it up/the forgetting to take pix! These look amazing, can’t wait to make them.

    • November 8, 2012 11:10 pm

      Yep, this post definitely deviated into some meta behind-the-scenes rambling, but at least other food bloggers can identify with me! :) I hope you get a chance to try making these soon!

  16. November 9, 2012 12:52 pm

    Nuts aren’t my favorite (although I’m learning), but anything pumpkin this time of year is high on the list of things to try! Mmmm.

    • November 9, 2012 2:25 pm

      Really– no nuts? What about pine nuts? They seem the least objectionable of the bunch… I’m with you on the anything pumpkin-flavored! :)

      • November 9, 2012 7:05 pm

        Pine nuts are delicious – they are my one true exception. There are other nuts I’ll consider eating, but usually not in things (pistachios and peanuts, primarily). I’m weird like that. ;)

      • November 10, 2012 12:40 pm

        That’s cool… I feel proud of myself that I called it with pine nuts! :) …also they were on my mind since I just made an amazing roasted broccoli side dish with pine nuts last night… (To appear on the blog soon!)

  17. November 9, 2012 2:20 pm

    I like that you got some good use out of your pumpkin. So many of them just end up in the compost bin (If they’re lucky…)

    • November 9, 2012 2:27 pm

      That’s true! Luckily I bought these pumpkins just to roast, and also luckily this easier way of roasting– that only requires pre-heating the oven and piercing each pumpkin a few times to get things going– gave me fewer excuses to procrastinate on doing that! (Although pumpkins do last a while…)

  18. petit4chocolatier permalink
    November 13, 2012 5:04 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Everything looks amazing!

  19. November 14, 2012 10:42 am

    Oh, my word. These cookies look INCREDIBLE.

    • November 15, 2012 9:13 am

      Thanks! I was pretty proud of them, and my girlfriend (who’s obsessed with anything involving ginger or cinnamon) couldn’t get enough of them.

      At first I was disappointed that they didn’t flatten out even more, and that they stayed slightly tall and cake-like, but at least I thought they tasted better than they looked! :)


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