October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

I've been itching to try a new rendition of the pie cookie.  After hearing that we would be having a small Halloween celebration at work, I caught myself wanting to bring in some delicious pumpkin pie, and decided this would be an excellent opportunity to try pumpkin pie cookies.

I decided to give these pie cookies a Halloween twist by using a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter and cutting out little jack-o-lantern faces in each one.  However, these cookies could be made all throughout autumn (they'd be awesome right around Thanksgiving).

I don't think my husband's quite in the spirit of the season.  His first reaction, upon seeing these, was, "Huh.  Weird.  You gave them creepy little faces."  I reminded him that these were pumpkin-shaped and Halloween was only a few days away, and he eventually got it.  I was worried that perhaps I wasn't properly conveying jack-o-lantern-ness in my pie cookies until later that night when my husband mistook two kids dressed as the main characters from The Corpse Bride as a couple going to homecoming.  I think he's just a bit oblivious to Halloween.

Creepy little faces.

When the first batch of cookies came out of the oven, I found I actually wasn't too fond of them.  There was too much pastry and not enough creamy pumpkin flavor.  So, for my next batch, I used as much pumpkin filling as I possibly could without making a huge pumpkin mess all over my cookie.  These were much better.  I found that, for my pumpkin-shaped crusts, a little over two teaspoons was a good amount of filling.

Also, because you will be tasting the pastry a whole lot more than in a regular pumpkin pie, I recommend using your best-tasting flour.  I discussed this in my blueberry pie cookies post - my favorite flour is a whole wheat pastry flour, so I used that again in these cookies.

Yum!  As soon as I got the filling amount right, I couldn't stop snacking on these.  The pumpkin filling is creamy, pumpkin-y, nutmeg-y, and delicious.  Very close to real pumpkin pie, but much more mobile and work-party-friendly.

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Puree 
Makes approximately 1½ cups.

1 medium pie pumpkin (mine was about 2 lbs)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Cut off the stem of your pumpkin, and then cut it in half.
  3. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and strings from inside each pumpkin half.
  4. Place each half cut-side down on a baking tray linked with aluminum foil.  Cover each half with aluminum foil and bake until tender (about 1 to 1½ hours).
  5. Allow the pumpkin halves to cool until you can handle them.  Scoop out the tender pumpkin flesh.
  6. Blend the pumpkin flesh in a food processor until smooth. 

Pumpkin Pie Cookies
Makes approximately 32 cookies using a 3" pumpkin cutter.

Ingredients for Pie Crust
2 ½ cups flour (whole wheat pastry or all-purpose)
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter
~½ cup ice water

Ingredients for Filling
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
1 egg
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together with a fork.
  2. Cube the butter and "cut" it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until there are no butter bits that are bigger than a pea.  Make sure you don't go smaller than this, however, since you'll start to lose flakiness if the butter is too small.
  3. Add the ice water, a tablespoon or two at a time and use a fork to wet the flour/butter mixture. 
  4. Keep adding until the dough just starts to hold together.  You don't want the dough too wet, and you don't want to mix in the water too much.  I find it useful to just use my hands to mix at this point.
  5. Divide the dough in two, cover each half with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a couple hours at least (overnight is best).  
  6. To prepare the filling, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat on low speed until combined.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  8. Line the bottom of a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Remove one of the covered dough halves from the refrigerator.  Divide this in half and roll out on a floured board.
  10. Using a 3-inch round or pumpkin-shaped cutter, cut eight shapes out of the pie dough.  Place these on the parchment paper, evenly spaced.
  11. Cut eight more shapes out of the pie dough (you may have to gather the scraps and re-roll it out).  Using a sharp knife, cut out some small slits (in a jack-o-lantern shape if you desire).
  12. Spoon about two teaspoons of filling into the center of each bottom pie crust.  The more filling you get in there, the tastier the cookie will be!
  13. Place each top crust on top of the pumpkin-topped bottom shapes.  Press down the edges with something thin (the top of a paintbrush or lollipop stick would work).  
  14.  If you'd like to add some color to your pumpkin (I added a little green to the stem), brush on some food coloring.
  15. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  16. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the filling is set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Repeat in three more batches with the rest of the pie crust and filling.


  1. My first reaction was that they were super cute! Good job.

  2. A good idea for Halloween, children love them. I also have the form of cookies pumpkin. Kisses!


  3. These are precious! And I bet they taste downright delicious too =)

  4. These are the cutest pumpkin cookies ever! Great idea! Pinned these!

  5. Oh I can NOT wait to bake these. This is a great blog!

    1. Thanks! Let me know how they turn out.

  6. I can't find this one on your pinterest site

    1. Just pinned it! Sometimes I'm not great at pinning my posts.

  7. These were delicious! I made them for my sisters birthday! Thank you so much for the recipe

  8. How many cookies does this batch make? Can't wait to try these out!

    1. This made about 32 cookies for me, but it depends on the size of your cutter and how full the cookies are. Good luck!

  9. can the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves be substituted for pumpkin spice?

    1. I'm sure it can! I think pumpkin spice is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ground ginger (http://www.mccormick.com/Spices-and-Flavors/Herbs-and-Spices/Spices/Pumpkin-Pie-Spice). This should work just fine I think!

  10. Coming from a college student who doesn't really have pumpkins lying around, is there a modification to make this without going out and getting a pumpkin? I'm not new to baking, just to pumpkins. . .

    1. Usually grocery stores have canned pumpkin puree - this is a great substitute and saves quite a bit of time.

  11. hi how much 1 cup pumpkin puree is in grams? is it 425 grams ? or less or more?

  12. These are very cute! I followed the directions exactly, but the pumpkin filling was very liquid-y. It didn't seem like it would stay in my cookie. Could this be done with less cream?


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