Add spice to your cookies for a Halloween feast

An ode to the perfect pumpkin spice world of Halloween in the US

Pumpkin spice cookies

Pumpkin spice cookies

 

Our favourite sugar-loaded time of year is nearly upon us, and while I was tempted to write a recipe for an insanely over-the-top spooky confection, I steered more so in the direction of the US, where Halloween is huge. As a child, television led me to believe that Halloween there was a grand affair, filled with harvest craft fairs, exaggerated parties and costumes, and pumpkins of all sizes lining the porch steps in perfect leafy suburbs.

While my childhood Halloween memories were much different, involving bonfires on the green and cheap face paint from the corner shop, I often wondered what life would be like in that perfect cookie-cutter pumpkin spice world.

Black bin bags were fashioned into witches’ costumes in my house, and one year, I remember cutting holes for eyes out of an old sheet from the hot press – the thriftiest ghost costume if there ever was one.

This week’s recipe is an ode to that perfect pumpkin spice bubble – in the form of pumpkin spiced cookies. Pumpkin pie spice lines the shelves in American supermarkets, an easy all-in-one ingredient. It is a simple spice mix to throw together, and something I like to do around this time of year – I make a batch and keep it in a jar, ready to be used in cookies, pies, muffins and cupcakes.

The quantity of pumpkin spice mix here makes more than you will need, but it is useful to have it ready to go when you want to bake something pumpkin spice flavoured.

I use brown sugar here, as it gives the cookies a gorgeous earthy caramel note and a subtle crunch. The secret ingredient though is crystallised ginger, roughly chopped or processed with the sugar, and added to the cookie dough, it adds warmth and depth of flavour.

These cookies are simple and delicious. The recipe makes quite a large batch. If you don’t want to bake them all, either half the recipe, or make the dough and freeze the dough balls, ready to be baked when the cookie cravings strike.

Recipe: Pumpkin spice cookies

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