Fall cooking is an exciting time for us cooks. We want everything to be oozing with warmth and flavors. Think cream, heavy spices, root vegetables, lasagna, chili– all the things we actively avoided during the hot summer are back in style. Plus what better place to keep warm on a chilly afternoon than the kitchen?
So, here’s one for the kids, or the kid in you: pumpkin moon pies! I’ll admit the inspiration for baking these little gems was born out a school project our son was involved with, his month-long moon journal. The work culminated in an evening of moon-tastic projects on display, everything from drawing and poems, to sculpture and videos, even Oreo’s with the creams cut into the phases of the moon! I could think of nothing better to bring along as snacks for the little geniuses than moon pies. Add in the flavor of the season, pumpkin, and it seemed like a win-win. And, it was:)
With plenty of rich spices and not too sweet cream cheese filling, these are pure chewy soft enjoyment.
PUMPKIN MOON PIES 15 ounces pumpkin puree (Trader Joe’s has organic),1.5 tsp vanilla, 1 egg, 1/2 cup coconut oil melted, 1 cup molasses granules, 1/4 tsp clove, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp real salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1.5 cups freshly milled flour or wheat flour, 6 ounces cream cheese, 6 tablespoons butter, .5 teaspoon salt, 1-1.5 cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Set out 6 ounces of cream cheese and 6 tablespoons of butter to soften.
- Use electric mixer to combine pumpkin, egg, vanilla, oil, and molasses. It will look like this lovely darkened syrup (at top right).
- In a dry bowl, use a fork to combine flour, baking soda and powder and all of the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove).
- Using your mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet ones until dough is formed.
- Drop tablespoon size mounds of dough onto the parchment lined cookie sheet, about 1-2 inches apart.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes, waiting for the bottoms to be slightly browned. Do not overcook.
- Transfer baked cookies to a rack or cutting board to cool.
- Once your final dough is in the oven, clean out your mixing bowl to prepare for filling creation.
- Mix the softened cream cheese and butter in with the vanilla.
- Slowly add up to 1 cup of powdered sugar and check to see if the consistency is thick enough while the filling is not too sweet. Add from the remaining .5 cup of powdered sugar until desired thickness and taste is achieved. (I tend to use less than called for powdered sugar.)
- Place filling in refrigerator to cool and thicken a bit further.
- Once cookies are thoroughly cooled and filling is suitably thick, assembly your pies! Use about one heaping tablespoon of filling between two cookies. Gently press together and plate. Notes: if you are not serving these immediately, place on parchment paper as the cookies will be relatively moist and could adhere to a surface if placed for a long period of time. Also, you can store your filling and cookies overnight and assemble right before you’re ready to serve!
The final moon pies (left) and Sebastian presenting his final moon project (right)!
The pies didn’t last long at the party.
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