Pumpkin Spice Cookies (3 dozen)

I “discovered” this recipe when I had some leftover butternut squash puree while making "Candy Corn" Panna Cotta. I took my regular gingerbread recipe and replaced half the butter with the squash puree. Of course, if you don’t have the puree, just use an equivalent amount of butter (added to the butter at the beginning of the recipe) and voilà gingerbread!

5 ounces sugar
6 ounces molasses, honey, or maple syrup
4 ounces butter, room temperature
1½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 egg yolk
zest of one orange
4 ounces pumpkin or roasted butternut squash puree
13½ ounces all purpose flour, sifted

powdered sugar for rolling

Cream together the sugar with the molasses and butter for just a minute, then with the mixer still running, add in the spices, baking soda, and salt. When they’re incorporated, add in the yolk and orange zest. With the mixer on low speed, add in puree and then the flour all at once. Mix only until homogeneous.

Form into a disc and refrigerate 30 minutes before rolling.

Preheat oven to 375°

If you have a pastry cloth and rolling pin cover use them to roll these cookies out as thin as you can manage. Paper thin. Extremely thin!

Otherwise, dust your rolling surface liberally with powdered sugar and roll the cookies out, in small batches, as thin as you can. The thinner the better, though I acknowledge at a certain point it comes too difficult to bother with.

Cut out shapes or rounds and bake for 5-12 minutes, depending on the thickness. I’ve found paper thin cookies cook in as few as 5 or 6 minutes, while thicker ones make take over ten. Keep an eye out on your first batch, and make note of the bake time.

Re-roll the scraps up to two times. The dough refrigerates and freezes very well, so you make it in advance and store it away for baking on the weekends or holidays.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to two weeks! Enjoy!

(Update: As I discovered while experimenting with Winter Pears, these cookies, sandwiched with Caramel Pear Buttercream, make an extraordinary little treat.)

pear cookies


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Any questions?

Nov 21, 2011 ·  7:17 PM

If I wanted to substitute a gluten free flour (I have brown rice flour and potato flour at home at the moment) what would work best and how much should I change it out for?

 · Jen · 

Nov 21, 2011 ·  8:00 PM

@Jen, with this particular recipe, I haven’t done any experimenting with GF blends. I’d give it a try with the rice flour though, it’s my go to substitute in other recipes, though I use white not brown. Sorry I couldn’t be more help, good luck!


Feb 04, 2013 ·  7:44 PM

If the dough freezes well would it be easier to freeze a log then slice and bake? Rather than deal with rolling thin….these are on my bake next weekend list along with the almond anise biscotti…bty I have powdered star anise…any ideas on the amount I should use…..

 · PJ · 

Feb 05, 2013 · 12:38 AM

Hi PJ! I haven’t tried these as slice and bake, but I’m almost positive it would work out fine. As for the powdered star anise… it has a bit of a different flavor profile, so I’d start small. Maybe just a 1/4 teaspoon. Taste a pinch of the dough, then add more if you like. Good luck!


Dec 10, 2017 ·  2:58 PM

Should the molasses be in fluid ounces?

 · At · 


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