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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Flavors of Halloween: Favorite Spice Cookies

I love Halloween. It combines two things I love to indulge in: Chocolate and Horror!

I love scary movies and have definitely seen a ton of them this October. So far the leading film was Grindhouse by Tarantino which was surprisingly good! The worst so far has been Flight of the Living Dead (zombies on a plane)... not good.

I love to get into the spirit of things, and this is the first year I decided to share my love for gore with my current coworkers.





There's nothing like a little blood to liven up your day! Ok. ok. This is a foodie blog so let's talk about FOOD.


At my previous place of employment (a few years ago), we always had a Halloween potluck. There was a particular recipe that was always brought in and I just loved the combination - a molassses style spice cookie with a pumpkin dip! I eventually asked for the recipe and saved it in an e-mail backup somewhere, but this year I did an online search to see if I could find that recipe. It's a perfect Halloween treat - bright orange dipping sauce with a chewy brown cookie rolled in sugar.



Here's the recipe so you can try it for yourself:

Spice Cookies with Pumpkin Dip
(as seen on http://www.gardenguides.com/ and many other websites)


1 1/2 cups softened butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon each ground ginger and clove
1 teaspoon salt Additional sugar


Pumpkin Dip

8-ounce package softened cream cheese
18-ounce pumpkin pie mix
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add molasses; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill overnight. Shape into 1/2 inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 6 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

For dip, beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add pumpkin pie mix; beat well. Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger; beat until smooth. Serve with cookies. Store leftover dip in the refrigerator.
Yield: about 20 dozen (3 cups dip).


They aren't kidding with beating the softened cream cheese - I just mashed it around with a spoon and I had some lumps. Tasted great and made more than enough, though! Although the recipe said to chill overnight, I didn't get around to it so I mixed the dough in the morning. About 4 hours later I started baking and chilled the dough in between batches (it does make a difference), and they turned out just fine. It was an easy recipe to make while my friend Meredith and I carved our jack-o-lanterns and watched cheesy horror films. The house filled up with the smell of cinnamon and cloves as they baked. Yum!


Have a Happy Halloween!



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