Tasters comments. 3 Pumpkin Spice Cookie recipes.

The results are in from the ZIX Cookies test kitchen for the 3 Pumpkin Spice cookies.

Here are the basic relationships between the primary ingredients for each of the three tested recipes.

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Pumpkin flavor:  All cookies used pumpkin puree from the same sugar pumpkin picked within a few blocks of the test kitchen.  The pumpkin was prepared for puree by first splitting the squash, cleaning out the seeds and then roasting it, face down, on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven.  When completely baked, the edge of the pumpkin has a nice browned caramel flavored edge.  This browned edge adds extra flavor in the pureed pumpkin that was processed in a food processor. 


Cookie #1.

The pumpkin flavor was not as pronounced in this cookie and also had the lowest percentage of pumpkin to all other key ingredients.  Some tasters said the cookie was a bit dry and cakey.  I was likely responsible for the dry texture but the cakeiness likely came from the higher percentages of butter and flour. Also Cookie #1 had a ¼ cup of milk in the recipe.

Cookie #2.

The spicing was more prominent in this cookie. Tasters liked the moisture level and rated this the best overall; a real gift box cookies.

 Cookie #3.

The texture of this cookie was the most talked about attribute; kind of rubbery or, a bit more positively, a bit chewy without being grainy. The frosting on this recipe was rated highest. Surprising in that this recipe was simply powdered sugar,  butter, heavy cream and vanilla.  Recipe #1 frosting added cream cheese and didn’t draw much attention from the tasters.

Ah Ha moment:

I’ve been puzzling over the pumpkin-ness of the cookies over the past couple weeks; how to drive more natural pumpkin flavor into the cookies and, at the same time, maintaining a great texture.

I have come up with an idea that should had that flavor and provide a bonus textural boost to the cookie; taking it from good to great.

My idea is to steam some pumpkin slices and then cover them with granulated sugar and dehydrate them until they attain a chewy texture.  I’ll then chop up these chewy and slightly sweet pumpkin slices into bits and add them to the cookie dough.  For a recipe with 2-2 ½ cups of flour, I’ll add ¾ cup of chopped candied pumpkin.

Next step: creating the new recipe!