In Japan I often picked up a kabocha (KAH-boh-chya) from the grocery, paring off the skin then cutting the flesh- reeking of fresh fall- into chunks. After they were nuked for 3-5 minutes in a dish covered with plastic, I sprinkled the kabocha with soy sauce, brown sugar and sesame and baked them in the oven for 30 minutes. Delicious, simple and good with a dish of rice.
Our Thanksgiving pies are usually contributed by relatives from upstate NY who know a fabulous bakery from when cometh the mince and pumpkin. Unfortunately said relatives were on the left coast this year- which meant we missed out on their squeezy cheez and celery hors d’oeurves as well. Since it was just us, Mom decided we’d potluck it this year. After a very odd, cobbled together Thanksgiving- one that found us scrambling to the local grocery when Mom realized that the Mrs. Smith’s pies in the freezer were, in fact, not prebaked- I had this weird urge to bake pumpkin cookies with the (sacrilege!) canned stuff I’d picked up. And so I Googled “pumpkin cookies” and low and behold found this lovely recipe. Right at the top of the list. Really- see for yourself.
The recipe turned out well- the cookies are cakey, moist and delicious; the glaze tasty and not too sweet. Just to be hardcore, I might try this again after making my own pumpkin puree. In a pinch, though, this particular brand is good because it’s unsweetened and has a fresh, just-carved sort of flavor. The batter/dough was mild and creamy, and so very tasty that I kept licking (then washing) my fingers after prepping each cookie sheet. To spice them up a bit more, I added a little ginger.
My friend D was having a party so I brought these. and got the following response from S and E- a very cute couple I absolutely adore:
E: “I hate pumpkin and these are delicious.”
Me: “Um… thank you.”
E: “And S hates ginger but she really liked these.”
S: (with mouth full) “Mmmm-hmmm.”
Proving once again the pleasures, and power, of pumpkin.