Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Officially a snob

Yesterday afternoon I had pumpkin gnocchi again.

I warmed up the gnocchi in a tupperware container on low microwave heat. While I did this, I I browned some goat butter on the stove and threw in some dried sage, salt and pepper. When the gnocchi dinged, I poured the butter over, and finished with some grated aged goat cheese (akin to Parmesan in consistency)

Cow's milk products, I fear, are just too plebeian for me.

I looked like QUITE the gourmand, eating my lovely gnocchi, awash in expensive goats milk products.....out of a tupperware container. :-)

Monday I made pumpkin cookies! I took a food network recipe and halved it, but essentially followed it to the letter. I think I added a bit more pumpkin than was called for though, which left me with a very soft batter. Also, in attempt to keep the cookies healthy-ISH, I used light cream cheese and whole wheat flour. I like what the whole wheat flour did actually: it left a lovely, nutty taste.

I love soft cookies, and I've actually figured out a couple of tricks to make them softer:

1) replace half the white sugar with packed dark brown
2) chill the dough in the refrigerator before spooning onto the baking sheet
3) take them out before you see brown on the edges (though for the pumpkin cookies, this was the sign that they were done...)
4) Rotate, rotate, rotate that baking sheet! At least halfway through cooking.

I will add a picture later, but for now, here is the recipe. Also, for excellent shaped cookies, roll the chilled dough into balls between your palms before placing on baking sheet. Do it quick though or it'll start melting on you....

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 (125 g) cup sugar
1 stick (125 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon Maple syrup
1 egg
3/4 cup (175 g) canned pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1 cup (250 g) whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

1 (8-ounce) (125 g) package softened light cream cheese
1/2 cup (125 g) confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, cream the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and eggs. Mix to incorporate. Add the pumpkin and mix to incorporate. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool on racks. When cool, ice with the cream cheese frosting.

For the Frosting: In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, add the cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla. Beat until smooth. If frosting is too thick, thin with a little milk. Fold in the lemon zest. When cookies are cool spread with some of the frosting. Garnish with a pecan or raisin if desired.

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