Diane Prather: Perfect treat for fall: pumpkin cookies

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Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

Pumpkin cookies

• 1/2 cup shortening

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

• 1 cup raisins

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 cup canned pumpkin

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

• 1/4 teaspoon ginger

• 1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and pumpkin. Sift dry ingredients, and add to the mixture. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Ice cookies, if desired.

Autumn is here, and last week, inspired by three pumpkins that are turning orange in our garden, I decided to bake something with pumpkin in it. My husband, Lyle, seems to enjoy cookies more than any baked treat, probably because he can grab a handful on the run.

So, I went through my file of pumpkin cookie recipes. All of them were pretty much the same, with spices, raisins and nuts among the ingredients. I finally let the amount of canned pumpkin be the deciding factor.

Isn't it interesting that the amount of canned ingredients in recipes usually don't match what you have on the shelf? In this case, I could have made a recipe that called for 16 ounces of canned pumpkin. I would have had to open two of my 15-ounce cans, leaving a lot of leftover.

Anyway, I settled on a one-cup-of-pumpkin recipe that used most of a 15-ounce can.

The ingredients called for in making "Pumpkin Cookies" are: 1/2 cup shortening, 2 eggs (beaten), 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 cup raisins, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup canned pumpkin (although I think pumpkin cooked from scratch would work just fine), 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1 cup chopped walnuts.

(I eliminated the raisins, because neither my husband nor I particularly care for them. I also used chopped pecans.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the cookie sheets.

Cream the shortening and sugar. Add the beaten eggs and pumpkin. Then sift the dry ingredients together, and mix into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the raisins and walnuts.

Drop the dough onto the cookie by heaping teaspoonfuls. Bake about 15 minutes or until firm to the touch and slightly browned. (This was about the right baking time in my oven.)

Cool and enjoy! I made the cookies last Friday, and there are only three left. They are very moist.

We liked the cookies without frosting, but if you'd like to, frost either with powdered sugar or cream cheese icing. I noticed that some pumpkin cookie recipes call for a lemon frosting.

What recipes do you have for using pumpkin? Call me at 824-8809, or write to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig 81626.

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