October 30, 2018 - Written by: Nancy Pollard
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Pumpkin Cookies Are All Treat And No Trick

Joys Pumpkin Cookies in Kitchen Detail LabSince we have an extra week in October as we did  in August, we’re doing another bonus recipe.  The first was the simple but inimitable Tomato Tart from Fore Street Grill in Portland Maine.  Today we give you one of the most sought-after recipes from our Cuisinette files: Joy’s Pumpkin Cookies via our star baking Cuisinette, Stephanie Gorenflo.  Stephanie trained in the professional pastry program at the now defunct L’Academie de Cuisine.  (We other mortal Cuisinettes were sure a baking angel had sent her to us). When she drove in from Mount Airy Maryland to work at La Cuisine, she often had something delicious for us to eat — always of the non-salad variety. 


Why This Is My Husband’s Favorite Cookie

retro photo from Heckers FlourNielsen Massey Madegascar Vanilla Bean PasteOne of Stephanie’s heaven-sent treats was her Pumpkin Cookie recipe, which came from her good friend, Joy. Stephanie and Joy have been  baking besties for years.  Tradition had it that Stephanie would bring trays loaded with this special cookie  to La Cuisine once a year, or maybe even two crops from the  end of October  through Thanksgiving.  Then she would go into her Christmas Cookie Mode, which always was delicious,  but pumpkin cookies would never be on the tray.  If you came to our Saturday Tastings when Stephanie was working, and it was one of those two months in the Fall, we would always include these cookies with the star ingredients from our shop – India Tree Caster and Light Muscovado Sugar, Heckers Flour, Nielsen Massey Vanilla Paste. Even when the shop closed and I was developing my plans for sharing our accumulated knowledge of almost half a century, I received  plaintive emails requesting that Joy’s Pumpkin Cookies be rescued from La Cuisine’s recipe archives.  There are several versions of this cookie wandering around the ether of Pinterest, but in our minds  Joy’s version is the best, not only for technique but also for the ingredients….they matter too. 

It’s Almost Always About Ingredients

India Tree Harvest Mix sparkling SugarYou can make your own pumpkin puree from a Sugar Pie Pumpkin or the Italian Marina Di Chioggia, and there are readily available canned organic India Tree Baking Sugarspumpkin purees. Do not use your Jack O’Lantern pumpkin! I discovered Heckers Flour through Ina Garten.  It is an excellent American flour that is non-GMO and proud of it . We and our customers found that it baked better than many other mainstream American flours.   If you have access to Maple Sugar (I get mine from India Tree because it is finely milled) use half maple sugar and half India Tree Light Muscovado Sugar for the cookie batter and the frosting.  This variation just takes this yummy cookie to a celestial  level. We found (and so did our customers) that the Nielsen Massey Madgascar  or Tahitian Vanilla Bean Paste was an excellent substitute for the hassle of finding good quality vanilla beans.  You use it on a one for one basis. In other words, 1 vanilla bean would equal 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste. Madagascar is less fruity and floral than the Tahitian version.  Stephanie always decorated her cookies  with chopped toasted pecans and a sprinkling of of large-grained orange decorating sugar, also from India Tree.  Orange sprinkles would give a nice Halloween or Fall look too. A little mise-en-place advice: get your decors ready and pecans chopped and toasted before you bake.  The frosting can stiffen when applied, but you can  keep it in a bain marie (another bowl with hot water) so that it stays soft while you apply the “penuche”  and then your decors. 

So take this beloved recipe, check your cupboard for ingredients and decors, and make this cookie like the Cuisinettes do as the weather turns crisp and the leaves fall.  This cookie has the Cuisinette Guarantee as the best in show!

Below is the link to our favorite fall pumpkin cookie recipe:


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