Still not sure whether summer or fall is my favorite time of year. I am all for long warm summer days with blooming flowers, fruit tree harvests from my garden, and quality time spent with my children in sand and water. But, fall is magical. Falling leaves in every shade, wearing tights again in fun colors like purple and persimmon, taking my forlorn yet stylish jackets out of my closet to wear again….and pumpkins. I am obsessed with pumpkin everything–my pumpkin candle at my work desk gives off a spicy sweet smell and warm glow that keeps me cozy as the weather gets colder. Trader Joe’s is now selling a pumpkin souffle body lotion, that I slather on my feet every night. By morning my feet still smell like little loaves of pumpkin bread. And of course, pumpkin pies, bread, muffins..and cookies! And really, this post is all about my new favorite cookie, what I like to call pumpkin “maamoul” Maamoul is a type of cookie in the middle east made with semolina, and stuffed with nuts or dates. I thought it would be fun to try a pumpkin cookie stuffed with dates, maamoul style, and it turned out so luscious I really had to practice self control to not finish the whole batch at once. (I do this my freezing the cookies, then heating them as I want them– this little step really helps!) You can really use any standard pumpkin cookie recipe, but the one below is my personal favorite. Try this and let me know what you think in the comment section below! Happy Halloween everyone!
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup coconut or date sugar (or white sugar)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
8 soft mejdool dates, pits removed, pureed in a food processor
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.
Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter. Take one teaspoon of cookie dough, flatten slightly onto cookie sheet. Put a small indentation in the middle of the dough with your thumb. Take 1/2 tsp of date puree, and place it in the dent on the cookie. Take another tsp of cookie dough and place on top, making sure to cover the dates. Repeat until you use all the dough and dates. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.