About a month ago, I ate what I now believe to be the most delicious cookie I’ve ever had in my whole entire life.
It was a pumpkin cookie slathered with cinnamon frosting. I know that doesn’t sound especially impressive, but I’m having a hard time coming up with a description that accurately conveys its deliciousness.
How about this: It’s as though it were lovingly hand-crafted by angels under the direction of the God of Frosted Pumpkin Cookies, and then it floated down to Earth on a pillow of feathers — no, memory foam — before being magically transported (probably by unicorn) to store shelves. It was THAT DELICIOUS.
And I bought it at Vons.
It was one of those supermarket cookies in the plastic containers, stacked high on a table in the bakery section of the store. There were lots of them left — not big sellers, apparently — but I thought they sounded tasty, so I bought a package.
And wow — everyone who passed up a box of those cookies is crazy. These things are SO GOOD.
So good that I ate two of them right away, then decided that I’d better bring the rest to work before I ate the other 10 right then and there. So good that I promptly bought another package of them to bring over my parents’ house and force everyone in my family to try them. So good that I’ve been back at Vons every week since, looking for some more.
And so good that I’ve been crestfallen every time I left Vons empty-handed. Because all of a sudden, they’re all gone.
So I’ve made it my mission in life to create a cookie that approximates the sugary-spicy deliciousness of The Vons Pumpkin Cookie From the Heavens Above.
My first attempt went pretty well. I wanted a soft, doughy sort of cookie, and because I don’t know enough about baking to create that on my own, and because I’m sorta lazy, I decided to tamper with a box of cake mix. I’ve made Funfetti cookies before, so I figured the process couldn’t be too different.
After comparing the Funfetti cookie recipe to the recipe on the back of the spice cake box, I decided to leave out the water and oil, cut down the eggs, add a little butter and, of course, throw in some canned pumpkin. It’s definitely more cake-y than doughy, for obvious reasons, but the taste is pretty close. For the frosting, I just added some ground cinnamon to my favorite vanilla frosting recipe.
If anyone out there has any suggestions to bring me closer to my cinnamon-frosted-pumpkin-cookie goal, let me know. In the meantime, here are the recipes!
Recipe: Easy pumpkin spice cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Betty Crocker
- 1 box spice cake mix
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- ½ stick of butter, softened
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper, or with grease and flour.
- Dump the cake mix, pumpkin puree, egg and soft butter into a bowl and mix it all just until combined. (I used my stand mixer, but a hand mixer, or an old-fashioned spoon, works just as well.)
- Drop spoonfuls of dough about two inches apart on the cookie sheet … OR … squeeze blobs of dough out of a pastry bag onto the cookie sheet. Tip: Squeezing blobs is less messy and more fun. But my blobs in the photo are too … blobby. Hold the tip of the pastry bag closer to the cookie sheet when you squeeze it, and your cookies will come out a little flatter and prettier. (All the finished cookies in my photos are from a second batch of less-blobby cookies.)
- Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Recipe: Cinnamon frosting
Adapted from a recipe by New York’s Magnolia Bakery
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 to 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a regular bowl and a hand mixer) and beat until smooth.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla (if you want; I thought it overwhelmed the cinnamon flavor) and cinnamon*.
- Mix until blended and creamy; make sure to scrape the bowl with a spatula occasionally to get any renegade cinnamon hiding at the bottom.
- Frost the cookies once they’ve cooled. I used an offset icing spatula that I probably bought at Bed Bath & Beyond or something.
* You might want to start with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, then taste the frosting and add more if you like. In an effort to combat the strength of the vanilla extract, I added two teaspoons, which led my sister to ask if I had made the frosting with Red Hots. But the cookies got rave reviews, so maybe Red Hots frosting is a good idea.
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