I’m a firm believer in cooking things from scratch, except when it comes to baking. Boxed cake mix is my best friend, as are those break-and-bake cookies and pop-open cinnamon rolls. I am, however, always looking for new ways to make my pre-made baking look fabulous and homemade. (Because no one has to know my secrets!)
Autumn is my favorite time to experiment with baking. It’s cooling down just enough that you want to warm your house up by turning on the oven, and everybody is talking about their love of pumpkin — pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pasta and, of course, pumpkin pie.
These Pumpkin Pie Cookies are just the right portion of pie to pop one or two in your mouth (if you can stop there!) and feel satisfied. They pack a whole lot of flavor in a little bite AND look super fancy while being incredibly easy to make. Just cut, fill and bake. Make a batch for your Friendsgiving dinner or gift a dozen to your kid’s teachers. These mini bites of pie heaven will have everyone begging for more.
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
2-pack refrigerated pie crust
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (or milk)
½ stick unsalted butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Other things you’ll need: A few tablespoons of flour for your work surface; round cookie cutter (about 4 inches wide); a sharp, small knife; parchment paper; cookie sheet; rolling pin.
- First, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle some flour over your work surface (I use a cutting board). Roll out your pie crust onto the surface and, using your cookie cutter, cut 12 circles.
(You may need to scoop up the dough, roll it into a ball and then, using a rolling pin, roll it back out onto your board to get all 12.) Place each circle onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
Optional: Using a small, sharp knife, cut the remaining dough into small leaves. Score them to look like they have veins.
- Place the butter, a tsp of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon in a small bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, egg, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar. Mix well. Stir in the whipping cream.
- Next, brush the butter onto each circle. Top with a small dollop of the pumpkin mixture. Spread evenly. Place one or two leaves on each one.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges turn golden brown.
- While the cookies are in the oven, make your whipped cream. Pour all of the ingredients into a blender or stand mixer and whip until the mixture stiffens and/or peaks form.
- Allow cookies to cool before topping with a dollop of whipped cream when you’re ready to serve.
(Photo courtesy of Nichole Baldino)