Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer. But there is something so great about Fall…oh yeah-pumpkin spice overload. Now I agree that the pumpkin craze can get a little overwhelming, but I absolutely love it! I think I’ve shared more pumpkin recipes than any other category. These cookies use pure pumpkin puree just as my pumpkin snickerdoodles (first blog post ever!!), doughnuts, doughnut holes, cinnamon buns, and hamantaschen. Last year I discovered pumpkin spice pudding mix and used that to make chocolate chip cookies, and simple pumpkin spice pudding cookies. I have a few more ideas for this pudding mix and I hope to do some recipe testing soon.
These cookies are similar to a classic cinnamon twist cookies, but they are perfectly seasonal. The pureed pumpkin give these a nice orange color. The cookie dough has a blend of pumpkin spice flavors mixed inside. Then the cookies are rolled in cinnamon sugar and twisted into this cute shape. These cookies are perfect alongside a cup of tea or coffee as the weather starts to cool down. My recipe is dairy-free, margarine-free, and freeze beautifully.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugars with the oil and eggs and beat until combined.
Add in the vanilla and pumpkin and mix to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix on low until the dough comes together.
Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour so the dough is easy to work with.
In a small bowl mix 1.2 cup sugar and 1 Tbs. cinnamon.
Once dough is chilled, scoop dough into about 2 tsp. sized balls. I use a cookie scoop for even and easy measuring. Roll each ball of dough into a log about 3 inches long. roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar mix. Flatten dough slightly and then twist and set onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for about 8 minutes until just lightly brown.
I can’t believe it took me this long to come up with this hamantaschen flavor! I love pumpkin and I love chai, but I guess since this isn’t pumpkin season, this idea hasn’t hit me-until now. And I’m so happy I thought of it! I always have Oregon Chai tea concentrate on hand because I love making my own chai tea lattes during the winter. I use the chai tea concentrate as the liquid in the dough, and to further bring out that flavor I make my own chai spice blend. The spice blend has a lot of ingredients, but they are all so amazing, once you own them, you will find yourself using them in sweet and savory dishes! I love pumpkin but don’t really like pumpkin pie. But this hamantaschen recipe needed a pumpkin pie filling, so I was on the hunt for a filling even I would love. I remembered seeing a recipe I thought I would like by Bakerella (one of my idols and the inventor of the cake pop). She uses cream cheese along side the pumpkin in her pie bites recipe; so I did the same thing but used dairy-free tofutti cream cheese and spiced it with my chai spice blend. Holy deliciousness! My dough is soft, tender, and so easy to work with. The dough needs no refrigeration and doesn’t lose it’s shape. These cookies are packed with flavor and freeze so well. The dough and filling can even be prepared the day before, just wrap and chill in the fridge. The next day, just shape and bake. I’m not sure which hamantaschen are my favorite anymore. These are definitely on par with my cookies n’ cream recipe, but a bit more sophisticated than my funfetti hamantaschen. Just try them all!
Stir the spices together and set aside to use in the dough and the pumpkin filling.
Prepare the dough
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening with the sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix until combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and spice mix and slowly mix on low speed. Pour in the chai tea concentrate and mix until a dough is formed. You can use the dough right away, but if the dough is too sticky, wrap and chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Prepare the filling
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth and no longer lumpy.
Mix in the pumpkin, egg, and spices.
Form the hamantaschen
On a lightly floured surface, or on a floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out a piece of the dough until thin. Use a round cutter (2½ to 3 inch in diameter) and cut out circles of dough. Fill each round with 1 tsp. of filling and pinch the seams together to form a triangle. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool before drizzling the icing.
Mix the confectioners sugar with a little bit of water and mix until combined. Keep adding water until the desired consistency. I like a thick and opaque icing. Drizzle the icing on the cooled hamantaschen and allow to dry.
This recipe happened by accident. I was trying to make my favorite chocolate chip cookies for my sisters birthday. They happen to be her favorite too. The recipe calls for a package of vanilla pudding mix. I started putting the recipe together and went to the pantry to grab a pudding mix from my stash…my empty stash! I was all out of vanilla-my options were lemon or pumpkin spice pudding mix. If I were baking for my mom, I would have grabbed lemon. My sister is not a lemon fan though, so I went for the pumpkin and hoped for the best.
In the bowl on an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the margarine with the sugars and vanilla extract until smooth.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined.
Mix in the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt, and mix until combined.
Add in the chocolate chips and mix just until combined, trying not to break up the chips.
Using a 1½ Tbs. size cookie scoop or spoon, scoop cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-11 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet to firm up a bit. Enjoy!