Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Dip and Gingersnap Cookies


Fall in our house means pumpkins. Carved pumpkins for Halloween. Baked goods with pumpkin. Roasting pumpkin seeds. Watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". And last but not least, decorating with pumpkins. The season would just not be the same without the round, orange squash. Autumn also brings cravings for more comfort foods throughout the day and with that, my kids start asking for more cookies, especially around snack time.

Being the sneaky mom that I am (even though I'm pretty sure my two older ones are on to me) I like to "trick" my kids into thinking they are getting a real treat, when in reality this snack is pretty healthy for them. Pumpkin dip falls right into this category, especially when served with plenty of fruit and a couple of cookies on the side. The fruit to cookie ratio is of course much higher, but they don't complain since it is presented in a fun way. The dip is nothing fancy, and can be found all over the internet. I happened to find a version on AllRecipes.com and made a few changes. Instead of regular cream cheese I used a low-fat version (you can't taste the difference in this dip) and also replaced the confectioner's sugar with brown sugar to add a little more flavor depth. Instead of pre-made pumpkin spice seasoning, I just added my own spices until I was happy with the end result.




While apples and pears are ideal for dipping, nothing beats these homemade gingersnap cookies. If your experience with these cookies has been like mine (I've only tried them years ago out of a box), I encourage you to try this homemade version. Believe me when I say, you will be hooked and never be able to return to the "break-your-teeth" store bought cookie again. The recipe for these cookies comes courtesy of David Lebovitz who is not just an ice cream genius, but also knows a thing or two about baking. I found the recipe on his website and was intrigued by the use of black pepper in the batter. The cookie dough is made quickly with every day ingredients before rolling the dough into logs and chilling it in the refrigerator. After that, the logs are sliced thinly, dipped in additional sugar (if desired) and then baked. The result was a perfectly, well rounded, subtly spiced cookie, that had crunch but at the same time melted in your mouth.

The dip, along with fruit and the cookies are pretty much the ultimate after school snack for my kids who absolutely fell in love with the dip and these cookies. Both of these recipes will be making repeat appearances throughout the season and as far as the cookies are concerned, they have earned a permanent spot as one of my favorites on my cookie list. I hope you'll give either one of these recipes a try, I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities throughout the season!


Pumpkin Dip
(adapted from AllRecipes.com)
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

8 oz. cream cheese (I used low-fat)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of allspice
Apples and Pears, for serving
Gingersnaps, for serving (Recipe to follow)

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Gradually mix in the pumpkin. Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice until smooth and well blended. Chill until serving! Serve with assorted fruit and gingersnaps!




Gingersnap Cookies
(adapted from David Lebovitz, who in turn adapted it from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters)
(Makes 40-50 cookies)

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
11 tablespoons (150 g) butter, unsalted, at room temperature
2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (80 g) mild-flavored molasses (sometimes called ‘light’ molasses)
1 large egg, at room temperature
Coarse sugar crystals for coating the cookies (optional)

Preparation:

 Stir together the dry ingredients.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter just until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until smooth, stopping the mixer to scrape down any butter clinging to the sides of the bowl.

 Stir in the vanilla, molasses and egg.

Mix in the dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth.

Divide the dough in two equal portions and roll each on a lightly-floured surface until each is about 2-inches (5cm) around. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect; you can neaten them up in a second.

Wrap each in plastic wrap then roll them lightly on the counter to smooth them out. Refrigerate, or better yet, freeze the cookie logs until firm.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

 Slice cookie dough into 1/4-inch (a scant 1 cm) rounds with a sharp knife. Dip one side and press firmly in a bowl of coarse sugar if you want (you can also use granulated sugar instead), and place sugar-side up on a baking sheet, evenly-spaced apart. Leave a couple of inches, about 5 cm, between cookies since they’ll spread while baking.

Bake for 10-14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until deep-golden brown. The cookies will puff up a bit while baking, then settle down when they’re done. Bake on the lower end of the range for softer cookies, and more for snappier ones, depending on your oven.

 Let the cookies cool two minutes, then remove them with a spatula and transfer them to a cooling rack.


42 comments:

  1. That looks very nice Susi. Impressive....

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  2. These look and sound really good. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

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  3. growing up i had a friend that always made a pumpkin dip similar to this one and it was a huge hit, may have to try this

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  4. Yum on both recipes! I agree that nothing beats homemade ginger snaps. This pumpkin dip is a GREAT idea! I love pumpkin pie, but am not a huge fan of pie crust, so this sounds like an easy way to satisfy my craving!!

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  5. Perfect fall recipe. Looks delicious.

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  6. The pumpkin dip looks delicious and so creamy. It also happens to be something that my son can eat, which is great. Leave it to Dave Lebovitz to write a terrific cookie recipe:)

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  7. Oh I love gingersnaps! I like the pumpkin dip idea, we are having a BYOP party next week and i"m thinking I'll make it!
    -Gina-

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  8. Mmm the pumpkin dip looks so delicious and since I'm a huge pumpkin fanatic you know I'm trying this one out! Gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies and I would love to make homemade ones. Thanks so much for the recipes, I can't wait to try them. :)

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  9. I love the idea of the pumpkin dip, and your gingersnaps are gorgeous!

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  10. oh wow.. these look amaizing. thank you for sharing this!

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  11. Two amazing recipes! I think these might have to make an appearance at our house warming party!

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  12. Your photos just keep getting better! These are the best shots I've seen yet! And of course the recipe sounds delightful, as usual.

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  13. Both recipes sound awesome, the dip is such a great idea and I just about will anything with cream cheese so I am sure it is wonderful!

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  14. Sehr lecker. Die Rezepte werden sofort mitgenommen und ausprobiert. Ich mag David's Rezepte. Vor einigen Wochen hat er mich auch zweimal persoenlich angemailt, ich konnte es kaum fassen.
    Thanks, Susi. Gruesse.

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  15. Both of these recipes sound and look absolutely delicious. I love the Charlie Brown clip you added to the post as well!

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  16. Wonderful cookies! And that dip...mmm, super!

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  17. That dip sounds delicious(and my love for the Charlie Brown specials know no bounds)

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  18. I'm going to eat lots of ginger after child birth and this is another one to add in the menu ;b
    That pumpkin dip sure is delicious.

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  19. I need to soak up all your sneaky mom lessons. I'm sure I'm going to need them. My 14 mo old is already a super picky eater.

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  20. I'm not a big gingersnap cookie fan, but I think I could be with this dip!

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  21. Cookies AND dip? How have I never thought of pairing the two before?! That's genius! And both cookie and dip look beautiful here!

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  22. I have never heard of this and I love it! I love dip, I love cookies, soooo why not together! Again, my friend, you wow me! I am making this for the kids... stat! Hugs!

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  23. Ginger cookies are my absolute favorites! I know these would be delicious with that pumpkin dip. :)

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  24. chanced upon ur blog accidentally ... glad to find ur blog.. u got a lovely collection of recipes...pumpkin dip so good and gingersnaps look awesome....if u get time do visit my blog

    Satya
    http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

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  25. Thanks for sharing. The pumpkin dip sounds great.

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  26. Hi dear,

    Lovely dip and the cookies...am sure they will just melt in the mouth!!:)Visit me when you find time dear..

    Dr.Sameena@

    www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com

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  27. I love ginger cookies and Charlie Brown, throw in a little of that pumpkin dip and now I'm getting in the mood for Halloween:)

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  28. I love gingersnaps and that dip sounds lovely. Hmm, I think I'll make sandwich cookies with it.

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  29. I love all of the Charlie Brown holiday movies!! This dip sounds perfect for pumpkin carving night!!

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  30. I haven't had pumpkin dip with gingersnaps in years. Yours has me salivating at the thought. I will have to see if I can be a sneaky mom, too.

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  31. Gingersnaps have a permanent place in my heart Susi! I never had them with pumpkin dip! How special. I can see why your kids love this. The Great Pumpkin is my favorite of all the Charlie Browns!

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  32. Susi this looks yummy. You can trick me into eating healthy any day!

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  33. Love the dip, video and the cookies! Your cookies and dip radiate Autumn, and a great way to warm up.

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  34. Wow! What a treat. Pumpkin is such a wonderful leap into into autumn. The addition of ginger snap cookies is delightful.

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  35. this looks so yummy, wish you could trick me with some right now

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  36. This looks great, Susi. At Thanksgiving, my in-laws always bring something they call simply "pumpkin fluff" along with gingersnaps for dipping. This sounds quite a bit like that. Completely scrumptious! Gingersnaps and pumpkin are such a perfect combo.

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  37. Susi-I love this combo. This dip looks so darn good. And you had to throw in yummy cookies too!! THANK YOU:)

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  38. I adore pumpkin dip and gingersnaps. I was introduced to them when I worked outside the house. My boss and I sat and finished off a whole bowl during a "meeting." The gingersnaps didn't look half as good as yours though!

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