“I prefer to buy them rather than candy”

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“Do you have cats?” Shouldn’t they be black? Times Leader columnist Bill O’Boyle asked me as I passed a plate of cookies, cut into Halloween shapes, into the newsroom.

“I thought about making them black, but I like orange. Maybe because we have a real orange cat living in the house, ”I said, explaining why I had used orange frosting on the cat cookies as well as the pumpkin cookies I have. Cooked in the Times Leader ‘s test kitchen this week. (And yes, I was conventional enough to use white frosting on ghost cookies.)

So how did the taste testers in the newsroom appreciate what I hoped was a lot of boo-tiful?

“Oh, they’re delicious,” reporter Kevin Carroll said. “I’d rather have them than candy in my candy bag. “

“It’s a perfect dessert, as evidenced by how I ate one in seconds,” journalist Jen Learn-Andes said.

“They are very good,” said editor Roger DuPuis. “They aren’t too sweet like some sugar cookies or holiday cookies can be.”

“They are very scary,” Bill joked. “Once I got over the initial fear, they were good.”

Analyzing the ingredients, which included pumpkin puree and pumpkin-friendly spices, Kevin said, “It’s the cinnamon that really stands out. I love cinnamon.

“It’s a very mild pumpkin flavor,” said page designer Lyndsay Bartos. “Oh, you get the pumpkin at the end of your bite. “

Newly hired page designer Justin LaCadre also tried one – and gave it a thumbs up – about a minute after meeting it.

“I predict you’ll always remember you ate a Halloween cookie on the first day of work,” I told her.

Sports writer John Erzar has also tried a cookie – and regular readers know he takes pride in avoiding effusive praise, much like the strict figure skating judge on the other side of a Cold War.

“Everything is fine,” he said.

The recipe for these pumpkin cut sugar cookies is from the seededatthetable.com/ website.

The cookie cutters came from the Schiel family market; I also spotted some at Wegmans.

And I followed the recipe closely, except for using cinnamon and nutmeg instead of the “pumpkin pie spice”. Also, I didn’t use an electric mixer for the cookie dough. Call me old-fashioned, but I think a wooden spoon works great.

I decorated the cookies with a very simple icing made from icing sugar, milk, a dash of vanilla and food coloring. As for the eyes on cats and ghosts and faces on pumpkins, these are tiny pieces of dried cherries.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup mashed pumpkin

1 large egg

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

3 3/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Instructions

In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree, then beat the egg and vanilla.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until completely incorporated. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.

Divide the dough in half and shape each into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; put aside.

Take a chilled disc of dough out of the refrigerator. On a large clean surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven, let cool 8 minutes on a baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Decorate however you like with your favorite frosting and sprinkles.

The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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