Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Spiced Glaze

It’s time for the next installment of What’s Baking?. This time around the theme is pumpkin or squash (appropo, no?).

I love these sugar cookies!! They’re pillowy soft and so chewy and delicious. A hint of pumpkin, a hint of spice and sugar all rolled together with a thin layer of spiced glaze.

They were very easy to make and have stayed perfect in an airtight container for a few days. I froze half of the dough so that I can make them again soon.


Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Spiced Glaze



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup more for topping
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 tbsp almond coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare cookie shee(s) with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl put the butter, oil, pumpkin, and eggs. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Whisk well to combine and break up any lumps.
  5. Add 1/4 of the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix to combine, scraping down any on the sides of the bowl. Repeat until everything’s combined.
  6. Spoon large 1 tbsp mounds of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
  7. Place the additional 1/2 cup sugar on a deep plate.
  8. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in the sugar, flatten each cookie round to 1/2 inch, dipping the glass into the sugar before each cookie.
  9. Bake for 8-10  minutes. They will not brown.
  10. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes then transfer to cooling racks with waxed paper or foil underneath.
  11. Mix the glaze. Spoon about 1 tsp over each cookie.
  12. Allow glaze to harden.



Adapted from wishesndishes.com



Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal

Fall is definitely here and pumpkin is out and about in all of it’s glory.  This past Sunday morning was a beautiful Long Island fall morning-chilly and crisp with the leaves just only barely beginning to change colors.  In other words the perfect morning for some delicious warming oatmeal.  Last October I posted this recipe for Maple & Brown Sugar Steel Cut oats and I used it as the basis for the oatmeal below. It’s a perfect satisfying delicious start to the day.

This isn’t a sweet or pumpkin pie like oatmeal-if you’d like it more sweet feel free to add it in, but I’m ok with just a sprinkle of brown sugar. For more of a pumpkin pie flavor add some pumpkin pie spice.  Also note: it saves and reheats wonderfully.  The recipe below makes a few cups.

sparksfromthekitchen.com pumpkin steel cut oatmeal

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk with coconut
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • pinch of cinnamon (to taste)
  • 2 tsp real maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • brown sugar (for topping)
  • walnut pieces (for topping)


  1. In a deep sauce pan boil the water. Lower the heat to low and add the milk and oatmeal. Stir occasionally and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. In the mean time cook the pumpkin puree over medium heat in a small skillet with the cinnamon over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the syrup, vanilla and pumpkin puree to the oatmeal, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Top with brown sugar and walnuts and enjoy.

Pumpkin-Shiitake Risotto with Pancetta and Pignoli Nuts

Recently I was looking around online for a recipe to use up some left over pumpkin puree and I found this. The name intrigued me. Pumpkin and Shiitake? Meh…I wasn’t sure about it.  But then as I read down the list of ingredients I knew that I had to make this and soon. And am I glad that I did! It was perfect. Crunchy pignoli nuts, creamy rice, hints of pancetta, onion and pumpkin and just a bit of tang from the mascarpone (which I doubled).  I had a double serving.

Many people think that risotto is difficult to make or easy to mess up. Lies. You can’t just let it sit on the stove but all that it takes really is attention and stirring. If you haven’t ever tried to make risotto at home I urge you to do so.  There’s almost no prep involved either-just chop up an onion and some mushrooms tops and that’ s about it. Easy peasy.

Risotto is like mashed potatoes. Some like it looser, some like it dryer. I prefer it looser and for to spread a bit when it’s spooned out. If you prefer it dryer continue to cook past when the liquid is absorbed. Be sure to not over cook it though-you do want it to be slightly toothy in the interior of the grain but creamy on the outside. Best to taste as you go.


Pumpkin-Shiitake Risotto with Pancetta and Pignoli Nuts


  • 3 cups no salt added chicken stock (I used the stock I made a few weeks ago)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4ozs pancetta, diced large
  • 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, chopped
  • 1&1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed or put through a press
  • 1 cup Arborio rice, uncooked
  • 1 tsp fresh sage, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 4 tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tbsp pignoli nuts
  • 2 tbsp scallions, chipped small


  1. In a small sauce pan bring stock and water to a simmer. Keep it warm over low heat.
  2. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook about 7 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic and cook about 5-8 minutes or until tender. Add the rice and sage, cook, stirring for a minute. Add the wine, scrape and brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, and cook until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Add 1 cup warm stock and, stirring continuously, cook until it’s almost entirely absorbed. Repeat with all of the stock.  You can use extra water if needed. About 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, add the pumpkin and mascarpone and stir to evenly distribute.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Spoon 1 cup risotto into 4 bowls (warm them so that the risotto doesn’t seize) and top with pignolis and chives.

Note: do not use pumpkin pie filling.

Adapted from Cooking Light, December 2012

Serves 4 (or 2 of me 🙂 as a main dish or more as a side dish.


Pumpkin & Chocolate Chip Squares

This past weekend was the autumnal equinox and it’s finally fall! I can’t think of any other time of year that I like more. That being said it’s time for pumpkin.  Husband and I were heading over to my Grandmother’s house for lunch on Saturday with her and my Mom and I wanted to bring something with me for all of us to have as a treat after our lunch. This was a perfect recipe to make! I started a little later than I wanted to on Saturday morning so the tasties didn’t have time to cool completely but it was ok-I put them in a container with an ice pack and they were nice and cool by the time we got to her house.

They’re not overly spiced or overly pumpkin and using dark chocolate is the right way to go. They’re just right.

Make sure you buy pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling (has the spices in it).

And how cute is this photo? That’s Timothy, our dog,  and while he really wanted a piece I couldn’t give him any because of the chocolate. He got a biscuit instead and was fine with it.  I think I should rename these Timothy squares-they’re the same colors as he is.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1&1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • (you may sub 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice for the last 5 ingredients above)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1&1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 12 ozs semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.  In an 9/13 baking pan or dish lay one piece of aluminum foil the long way and press into the pan. Then lay another piece of foil the short way. In both directions leave enough extra foil to have a  bit of an overhang so that you can pull the squares out easily. Set it aside.
  2. In a medium bowl add the flour, pie spice or spices, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine thoroughly and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar together using medium-high speed until smooth.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined then add the pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled but that’s ok). Change the speed to low and add the dry ingredients a bit at a time until just combined. Remove the bowl from the stand, add the chocolate chips and gently fold them into the batter using a spatula. Be careful to not over-mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared dish-spread to even out. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick stuck into the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
  5. Move pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.


From marthastewart.com

Velvet Pumpkin Bread

The weather has gotten so nice and cool this week-high 70s during the day, low 60s at night-a great change from the super-humid hot weather we had for the past few weeks. So the air conditioning is off, the windows are open and it feels great-in other words the fall bug has bitten me. I was looking through some of the cookbooks that I’ve picked up for my Kindle and came across the Gooseberry Pumpkin Cookbook that I’d purchased last year- link.

This recipe made 2 gorgeous delicious loaves of super-moist, amazingly tasty pumpkin bread and they were really easy to make. Wow did my house smell amazing while they were cooking too!! I left one loaf at home and brought one to work for my co-workers to enjoy today.

(Next fall when I make this I’d like to try using greek yogurt instead of the oil. I’m not sure of the conversion amounts though-I will have to find out and put an alternate ingredient on this recipe.)

Velvet Pumpkin Bread


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1&1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (one 16 oz can)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray 2 9″x5″ loaf pans with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon 3 times and set aside.  In a large bowl combine oil and sugar and mix well then blend in flour mixture. Add the eggs and pumpkin and mix well.  Pour batter into the 2 prepared pans and bake for 1 hour.

Makes 2 loaves.