Tag Archives: fall food

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​

During my blog sabbatical, I made a mental list of all the things I wanted to make last year but never found the right moment. These little sugar cookie pies were on it, and I’m so happy they’re on here now, not least because it means we can all both dream about and eat them anytime we want. Having this kind of power could be dangerous, but I’m willing to risk it.

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​

I mean, look at these things. They’ve got thick cookie crusts and plenty of smooth pumpkin filling—a perfect two-bite dessert for when you can’t decide between pie and cookies. Why not both, you know?

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies begin with a batch of Pumpkin Spice Spread. If you’ve yet to try it, it’s exactly what it sounds like: spreadable pumpkin pie filling perfect for toast, s’mores, or putting in pumpkin baked goods. It’s made with pumpkin purée, sweetened condensed milk, a couple of egg yolks, and pumpkin pie spice, and comes together quickly on the stove. It will need to be made ahead so that it can be easily dolloped into the crusts before baking. And yes, the batch makes enough for you to sneak a few bites right out of the jar!

The sugar cookie crusts are the same graham cracker-spiked base I used in my Key Lime Linzers. It comes together pretty quickly and doesn’t need a chill or anything—just press heaping tablespoons into the bottoms and up the sides of your muffin tin to create little crust shapes, then fill and bake! I tested this recipe with with my Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie dough and it worked just as well, but the graham cracker crumbs give these a hint of pie crust flavor that I really love.

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​

The pies bake up in just under twenty minutes—you’ll know they’re ready when the filling has puffed and the cookie crusts are beginning to turn golden. The centers will relax as they cool, and before long it’ll be time to dig in!

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies would be great for a bake sale, a Friendsgiving, or an autumnal tea party, but I made them just because I could. Highly recommend.

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies​
Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies
makes about 2.5 dozen little pies

Pumpkin Spice Spread:
1 cup pure pumpkin purée (I use Libby’s)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Cookie Crusts:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the Pumpkin Spice Spread. Place pumpkin in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until slightly drier and a tiny bit darker in color. Remove from heat.

Fill a small pot with 1-2 inches of water. Set a heatproof bowl over the top, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove bowl and bring water to a simmer.

In the heatproof bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk in pumpkin purée. Place bowl over simmering water, creating a double boiler. Let cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes (it will thicken further as it cools). Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minute before transferring to a heatproof container. Press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface. Let cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating for at least 2 hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, place the oven racks in central positions. Preheat the oven to 350F. Put cupcake liners in two muffin pans. Set aside.

Make the cookie crusts. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cream in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Dough may appear crumbly, but should hold together very well when pinched.

Scoop dough in 1 1/2 tablespoon increments and roll into balls. Working with one ball at a time, press it into the bottom and about halfway up the sides of one of the cupcake liners in the pans. This should create a little crust shape with a place in the center for the filling. Repeat the process with remaining cookie dough.

Remove Pumpkin Spice Spread from the refrigerator and give it a stir. Spoon a scant tablespoon into the center of each cookie dough crust. When this is done, wet your finger and smooth out any peaks.

Tap full pans on the counter 5 times to release any air bubbles. Bake sugar cookie pies for 16-18 minutes, or until puffed in the centers and turning golden at the edges. Let sugar cookie pies cool in their pans for 10 minutes before removing to cooling racks to cool completely. Once cool, you may peel off cupcake liners.

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pies will keep at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5.

Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints

Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsIf you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been counting down the seconds leading up to my annual trip to Swan’s Island, Maine. I’ve been crossing things off of an elaborate to-do list:

obtain more overalls
get an absurd amount of coffee from Sahadi’s
finalize our grocery list
pack four bags or less
pick up rental car
somehow find time to work
tell you about these Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints
go to MainePumpkin Pie ThumbprintsYep, this is the last thing I have to do before I hit the road today! I mean, it would be super rude of me to leave without telling you about these Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints, now wouldn’t it? They’re teeny, tiny two-bite pumpkin pies nestled in sugar cookies—you *need* to know about these. You need to bake these.Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsPumpkin Pie ThumbprintsPumpkin Pie ThumbprintsPumpkin Pie ThumbprintsThe secret to these thumbprints? Pumpkin Spice Spread! I posted this super-easy, super-versatile recipe last week, and here it is again. This time, it’s piped into little wells in the middles of sugar cookies and baked until puffy and perfect. You’ll only need about half the batch to make these cookies, but trust me, you won’t have any trouble finding uses for the rest. *hint hint* Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsWhile pumpkin pie is traditionally finished off with whipped cream, that doesn’t make much sense in a cookie. I went with a simple icing drizzle as the final flourish, and I regret nothing. Aren’t they cute?! Almost as cute as they are delicious—what could be bad about buttery cookies with squidgy pumpkin centers?Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsOkay, there it is—you know about Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints. That’s one more thing off the list. I guess all there is to do is road trip north. Can’t wait to get to Swan’s and show you what we’re cooking up six miles out to sea.Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints

Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints
makes about 3.5 dozen cookies

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 oz (1/2 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Filling:
~1 cup Pumpkin Spice Spread

Icing:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
3-4 teaspoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cream in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Place the narrow end of a a piping bag (or the corner of a ziptop bag) in a tall cup and stretch the wide end over the edge. Fill with pumpkin spice spread (you may not be aboe to use it all at once). Twist to close. Set aside.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll each int a ball. Place dough balls at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Use the back of a very small spoon (like a 1/2 teaspoon) to slowly press a well into each dough ball. They may crack a bit—just smooth them with your fingers. If dough gets too warm and sticky, freeze for 10 minutes.

If necessary, snip a the narrow end of your piping bag.

Bake cookies 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven, then carefully press the back of a rounded 1 teaspoon measuring spoon into the centers again. Pipe pumpkin spice spread into each well. Carefully tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to release large air bubbles. Bake cookies another 10 minutes, until pumpkin spice spread is set.

Let cookies cool on the pans for 10 minutes before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling and baking process with all remaining dough, letting the cookie sheets come back to room temperature between batches.

Serve cookies room temperature or chilled. Leftovers may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints