The last pumpkin cookies I made were soft little bites filled with melty chocolate chips. But the pumpkin didn't shine quite as much as I wanted it to. I wanted pumpkin cookies that SCREAMED pumpkin. I wanted to up the PUMPKIN ANTE...
To inject more PUMPKIN flavor into these cookies, I made 2 changes. First, I used a family favorite: Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix. Not Libby's Pumpkin. Not pure pumpkin. Not pumpkin puree. But Pumpkin Pie Mix. And not any other brand. Libby's. It's been a staple in my Mom's pumpkin bread since as long as I can remember. My Mom even shipped cans of it to my sister living in England one year when she couldn't find it; that's how essential it is to our pumpkin bread, our holidays, our family identity even! Ok maybe not the last one as much, but you get the point. We like it.
Second, of course, were the persimmons. Their hint-of-cinnamon flavor was begging to be paired with pumpkin, I think.
In addition to these flavor changes, I also wanted a more "cookie" cookie, if you know what I mean. I flipped through Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and came across Sell Your Soul Pumpkin Cookies. Intriguing.
Why must we sell our souls? Well, the recipe calls for a crap-ton of shortening. Damn. I kind of wanted to keep my soul. So as usual, I adapted and made some compromises. You can bet I subbed some banana for shortening. I also subbed in some coconut butter, mainly because I was just curious to use it, since I never had before. It has a thicker consistency than Earth Balance, which is good if you are subbing for shortening. I was worried the flavors from these changes might overwhelm the pumpkin, but they didn't at all- I used a small amount of each, and the coconut butter is actually really mild.
In the end, these cookies were less cakey than the previous ones, but still maybe a little too moist, particularly if you wrap them up and keep them for a day or two. Despite that, these are yummy right out of the oven, and I really liked their sweet spicey taste. I made some without seeds, but I think using pumpkin seeds on top really adds a nice crunch that balances the cookie out flavor-wise.
Recipe inspired by Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar's Sell Your Soul Pumpkin Cookies
- 1 cup Libby's pumpkin pie mix (see spice notes below if you can't find it and need to use pure pumpkin instead)
- 2 persimmons, peeled and sliced
- 2 Tbsp non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 2 Tbsp coconut butter
- 1/2 small banana
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup oat flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon (increase to 1.5 if using pure pumpkin)
- 1/2 tsp ginger (add an extra dash if using pure pumpkin)
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- (1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice if using pure pumpkin)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Shelled pumpkin seeds to top cookies, about 3 Tbsp
- Heat the pumpkin and persimmon in a saucepan for about 30 minutes over medium heat, continually stirring. You want it to simmer a bit to reduce the pumpkin, but not boil. It's ok to have some chunks of persimmon (they make for nice elements to the cookie), but some of the persimmon will also "melt" into the pumpkin, and that's good too. After reducing, let cool to room temp. (As a shortcut, you can transfer it into a bowl and put it in the freezer for about 3-5 minutes. Then take it out, and drain off any additional liquid).
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Use a mixer to blend together the butters, banana, and sugars.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients besides the seeds.
- Drop by the Tbsp onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten the cookies a bit and add some pumpkin seeds on top.
- Cook for about 10 minutes.
It's the addition of fresh persimmons, the pumpkin seeds, and plenty of fall-themed spices that make these cookies that much closer to Screaming Pumpkin Cookies. They aren't taking the cake, so to speak, for that title just yet though. I'm reserving that name for an epic cookie, a cookie that makes you scream for more. Yup, I'm still on my quest to make the Vegan Screamin' Pumpkin Cookie. I'll get there one day if I have to force my co-workers, my husband's co-workers, and all our friends to eat pumpkin cookie variations until they are orange in the face. ; - )