Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Blossoms

I love fall. It is by far my favorite season. The leaves changing colors, the ability to wear jeans again (LOL) and of course, everything PUMPKIN related. My husband loves pumpkin, so I love trying new things that involve pumpkin as an ingredient.  So for last weeks PITT home game, I decided to make Pumpkin Spice Blossoms. I know I usually call these like 'Kiss' cookies, but I guess Blossom is the correct term.
Cookie Ingredients

So here is the back story on these cookies. A while back (like last year) there was a recipe I saw on Pinterest for Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints. They used these Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses that I had never seen. I knew if I did ever find them in a store, I was definitely going to try a cookie with them. And find them I did! However Chai, or really anything tea related, is not my cup of tea (HAHA).  So I decided to make a pumpkin cookie topped with a pumpkin spice kiss. I also went the easy route by adding Pumpkin to Betty Crooker Sugar Cookie Mix. I adore her mixes. I've never had one that wasn't totally yummy.

The first step is to soften your butter. Once your butter is softened add the sugar cookie mix, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and your egg.
Blend well until all ingredients are combined. The batter was very moist, so it was good that I was planning on refrigerating it before rolling the dough into balls.  After overnight refrigeration, my dough looked like the below picture.

Now, after your dough has been refrigerated you can start on the topping for the cookies.
Cookie Topping Ingredients

Before you even take the cookie dough out of the fridge, you want to unwrap and freeze the Pumpkin Spice Kisses. I froze them for about 45min. You do this because they melt A LOT faster than chocolate kisses (I discovered this after about 45min in the car) and you want them to keep their shape. Next you want to mix up the topping you will be rolling your dough in. I know most blossom cookies, like peanut butter ones, are rolled in plain sugar. I thought that would work fine, but I do know that a lot of pumpkin drinks you get at restaurants (like martini's and beers) come with a cinnamon sugar rim. So I decided to try cinnamon sugar! It's really easy. You take cinnamon, white sugar and mix! It should look like the below picture. I started with about a 1/4 of a cup of white sugar but it seemed like too little to me so I went with a half a cup.

Take your dough out of the fridge. Take small amounts and roll into a ball.  My dough was still a bit sticky, so I pulled out small amounts, coated it in the cinnamon sugar and then formed it into a ball. Place your coated dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
All set for the oven

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 11 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 minute before pressing a Pumpkin Spice Kiss into the center of each cookie. They should look similar to the below picture.

Allow cookies to cool completely. It will take some time for the kisses to set and become firm again.  I put them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process. I refrigerated them for a couple hours.  Be very careful moving the tray as the slightest bump can cause the kiss shape to get messed up.
  See how the tops smushed down? I bumped the whole pan putting them in the fridge.

1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 Egg
1 cup Canned Pumpkin (I used Libbys)
1/3 cup Softened Butter
1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice
1/2 cup White Sugar
2 1/2 TB Cinnamon
30-35 Hershey Pumpkin Spice Kisses (unwrapped)

Blend cookie mix, egg, canned pumpkin, butter and pumpkin pie spice with hand mixer until well combined. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Unwrap and freeze about 30-35 Pumpkin Spice Kisses
Mix together the white sugar and cinnamon.
Take small amounts of dough and roll into balls.
Roll balls through cinnamon sugar mixture.
Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Bake for about 11 minutes
Allow to cool for 1 minute.
Press a frozen Pumpkin Spice Kiss into the center of each cookie.
Allow to cookies to cool completely and Kiss to re-harden. (Refrigeration will speed this up)

I loved the pumpkin flavor in this cookie and the Kiss really gave it a kick.  The cookie stayed soft and chewy and got a thumbs up from everyone that tried them. I have another recipe to post, but as I am getting ready for my daughter Ariana's FIRST birthday, I may not post again until next week.  Have a great week everybody!

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