Winter squashes are in their full glory right now and it seems I can’t turn my head without seeing a beautiful variety of pumpkin, a lovely acorn squash, or my favorite, the butternut.
Also in full swing is the offering of pumpkin-flavored treats just about everywhere. It seems pumpkin ice cream, coffee, cookies, cakes, pies, even pumpkin salsa fills every shop, coffee house, and restaurant during this season. I enjoy these pumpkiny treats as much as the next girl, but I can’t help but wonder when the other winter squashes might get their due. And while we’re at it, why not spice things up a bit.
I decided that the can of organic butternut squash in my pie chest was about to become an iced cookie. I knew I wanted to go beyond the traditional pumpkin pie spice and since cardamom is one of my favorites I dreamt up a chai-spiced cookie with hazelnut meal for body and texture and of course it had to be iced. Standard vanilla icing seemed like a missed opportunity, so I opted for more spicy goodness by adding cardamom and cinnamon to the icing.
These cookies are so yummy and they satisfy on every level- there is something homey and familiar yet they offer a hint of the exotic. The smell as they are baking is heady and divine- remember, hands off until they’re cool!
- INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIES
- 1 cup butter
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup butternut squash puree (canned or fresh)
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup hazelnut meal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR COOKIES
- Preheat oven to 350º & line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Cream butter and sugars until nice and fluffy in the bowl on your stand mixer using a whisk attachment or using your hand mixer.
- Add remaining cookie ingredients and mix well.
- Drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet in teaspoon sized balls about 2” apart. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden then cool immediately on a rack.
- Ice the cookies as they begin to cool
- INGREDIENTS FOR CARDAMOM CRÈME ICING
- ¼ cup of butter (softened)
- 2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
- ½ tsp cardamom,
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR ICING
- Cream butter and sugar
- Add cardamom and cream. If icing is too thick add more cream; if it’s too thin add more sugar