Once upon a time, long, long ago (so long ago that I was a sophomore in college) I was home for winter break—then known quaintly as Christmas vacation—when I found a recipe for pumpkin cookies in Glamour Magazine…of all unlikely places. It was just a tiny sidebar, sandwiched between articles on what to wear to holiday parties and the latest hairstyles, but the cookies sounded so good…I dashed to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, commandeered my mother’s kitchen and whipped up a batch.
They were an instant hit with my family, and have continued to be loved by everyone who’s eaten them over the years. I’ve been asked for the recipe countless times, and my mother has threatened to cut me out of the will if I don’t bring or send her a supply every Christmas. Unfortunately, I have no idea who originally devised the recipe, and the original page that I ripped out of the magazine has long since disintegrated, so as far as giving credit, I’ve done what I can.
I’ve tinkered with the recipe, substituting coconut oil for Crisco, dried cranberries for raisins, and chocolate chips for butterscotch, and enjoyed all the permutations, but for simplicity’s sake, here’s the original recipe. Do with it as you will.
1 cup shortening (not butter)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 16 oz can pumpkin puree
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup each butterscotch bits, chopped toasted pecans, raisins
Preheat the oven to 375º F. Have ready 2 parchment lined cookie sheets.
Cream sugar and shortening together in electric mixer. Add pumpkin and egg, blending well. Combine flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice and soda; add to creamed mixture. Stir in butterscotch bits, nuts and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets and bake 10-12 minutes. Glaze while still hot.
Brown Sugar Glaze
In small saucepan, combine:
3 Tbsp butter
4 tsp milk
½ cup brown sugar
Heat over medium low heat, stirring till sugar dissolves.
Let cool slightly, stir in:
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Dollop on warm cookies. If glaze gets too stiff, just add a little milk and stir.
Makes about 4 dozen.
The cookies can be scooped and frozen on a cookie sheet, then stored in a plastic baggie or other air-tight container till ready to bake.