The Great Cookie Experiment – Cut out Pumpkin Cookies

The Great Cookie Experiment- Cutout Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies

I love these cookies because they came out looking so pretty, and tasting so good!  The recipe called for pumpkin shaped cookies with a smaller pumpkin shaped window of orange-colored jam.  Because of their looks, it would be so easy to adapt them for any of the other holidays, based on your cookie cutters, and the color of your fruit spread.  Valentine’s Day comes to mind first, but Christmas, and Easter would work just as well.  This is definitely a good thing to put on your dessert buffet!

This recipe called for apricot preserves.  I had to buy some apricot preserves for a cookie recipe a few months ago, and my store only had the kind that was nothing but high fructose corn syrup.  It’s a pretty orange, but I felt like I could do better.  I didn’t even try for apricot preserves this time.  I used Cornaby’s Peach-Raspberry spreadable fruit instead.  The peach raspberry does still have a rosy color, so I added a bit of yellow food coloring and got a rich dark orange that was just lovely.  It also tasted a whole lot more like fruit because they don’t use as much sugar, and NO corn syrup!

The recipe has you rolling out a simple sugar cookie type recipe, cutting out pumpkin shapes, and in one cut out a smaller pumpkin shape.  I have probably four different types of pumpkin cookie cutters, and none of them were really small.  I certainly didn’t want to have to buy more pumpkin cookie cutters, so I found one that I liked, and instead of a smaller pumpkin in the center, I used a small circle cutter to cut a round hole.  The results were equally satisfying.   The cookie is formed by sandwiching two of the cookies with some of the fruit spread in between.  The fruit spread shows through the cut out circle window to make a lovely color.

There were a couple of drawbacks to this cookie recipe.  First, really roll your dough thin.  When you are stacking the two cookies together, they can get really thick. Thicker cookies might not stack as well.  The second drawback is the yield.  The recipe was supposed to make 24 cookies, but I think I got only 15 or 16 cookies from the batch.  The yield is entirely based on how big your cookie cutter is, and mine was a bigger cookie.  The recipe is a little labor intensive for only a little over a dozen cookies.  I want at LEAST 2 dozen out of a batch if I’m going to go to the trouble of baking!  Other than that, the cookies are delicious, and pretty, and I would make them again to add to any holiday festivities.  I’d just double the recipe or use smaller cookie cutters first.

pumpkin cookies

Cutout Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 ¼ cups sugar, divided

2 eggs, separated

2 ½ cups flour

¼ tsp salt

confectioner’s sugar

½ cup ground almonds

¾ cup preserves

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine flour and salt.  Graduallly add to creamed mixture.  Shape dough into a ball.  Chill for 1 hour or until firm.  On a surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar, roll dough into 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut with a 3 inch pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter.  Cut a 1 ½ inch pumpkin from the center of half the cookies and remove.  Place on greased baking sheets.  Beat egg whites until frothy.  Combine almonds and remaining sugar.  Brush each cookie with egg whites.  Sprinkle with almond mixture.  Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove immediately to wire racks to cool completely.  Spread 1 ½ tsp of preserves over the plain side of solid cookies.  Place cookies with the centers cut out, almond side up, on top of preserves, making a sandwich.

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