I thought I was testing pumpkin cookies one day, when one recipe that I had adjusted resulted in these cute little mounds of soft pumpkin-flavored cake – like tiny, random-shaped muffins. They tasted delicious – soft, lots of pumpkin flavor, and not too sweet. You can pop one in your mouth for a quick treat, or serve as an afternoon snack with coffee or tea for adults and milk for the kids. You can even pile these in a napkin-lined basket to serve with meals. If you want a sweeter version, something like a frosted mini coffee cake or cupcake, just drizzle with a bit of glaze. With the glaze, these look beautiful mounded on a nice platter and served as part of a brunch or a dessert buffet – especially around Thanksgiving time. Kids of all ages will love these!
1 cup unsalted butter or pareve margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter or margarine with the sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. (I used my Kitchenaid mixer.) Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and mix well. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Add this to the large bowl and stir or beat gently until well-combined.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets covered with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a rack.
1 cup confectioners' sugar
5-6 teaspoons orange juice
Place the cooled pumpkin bites on a cookie sheet. Mix the sugar and juice together in a small bowl until smooth. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the glaze sparingly over the pumpkin bites. Let the glaze harden. (You can place the bites in the refrigerator for a few minutes to speed up this step.) Store in a plastic container in layers separated with waxed paper. If your kitchen is warm, store the pumpkin bites in the refrigerator to keep the glaze intact – otherwise it will melt and run off the cakes.
Yield: Approximately 6 dozen (72) "bites"
Jamie Stolper is the Food Editor of ShalomBoston.com.