My Mother’s Cookies a.k.a. The Big Bomb

My mother gave me her recipe box several years back. There were a good handful of recipes that I remembered making with her year after year, so those were the ones I gravitated toward most often. The one that always got made each fall: Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting. I remember loving these, but hadn’t made them in years. My kids had never had them, to my recollection, so I thought I would give them a go. I also thought, “Let’s see if we can mix this up enough and do a side-by-side tasting to see if there is a clear difference” (translation: winner). I spent the better part of the morning doing up these 2 batches (3 dozen each!). Here is what I came up with:

Mom’s Pumpkin Cookies:
(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

1 cup shortening
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups plus 2 T. unsifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 cup raisins (I didn’t add these to mine)

Cream together shortening and sugars. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla; mix well. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Add nuts and raisins now, if using them. Drop from a teaspoon onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Frosting:
3 T. butter
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup milk
2 ½ cups powdered sugar (approximate)

Combine butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for about 1 minute until slightly thick. Cool for 15 minutes. Add milk and beat until smooth. Add enough of the powdered sugar to make it spreadable.

My Version: Squash Cookies with Marshmallow-Buttercream Frosting
(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup raw sugar
1 cup canned butternut squash
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups plus 2 T. unsifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg, freshly ground
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt

Cream together butter and sugars. Add squash, egg and vanilla; mix well. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Drop from a teaspoon onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 14 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Frosting:
1 stick butter, softened
½ cup marshmallow cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar (approximate)

Cream all of this together until you have a nice, fluffy frosting. Add more sugar to make more frosting.

Results:
Nobody really liked either cookie. The overall consensus was that my version had a better flavor and consistency than the old version. The big take-away was that the frosting rocked. However, I can’t take a bowl of frosting to the bake sale. I will tackle another cookie recipe, or maybe a cupcake, next week.

In the meantime, I made myself a nice little mocktail of carrot juice, veggie juice (like V8), several dashes of Melinda’s Extra Hot Sauce and ginger ale, all poured over ice. This was DELICIOUS!

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3 thoughts on “My Mother’s Cookies a.k.a. The Big Bomb

  1. So funny…nobody liked either cookie. You should have sent it our way. My daughter has been baking nothing but pumpkin desserts for the last month and they disappear so quickly. I loved your version better, with the extra spices, and the butter. Also the dark brown instead of the light brown sugar.
    Great recipe, and yummy cookies!

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