November 09, 2010

Pumpkin-Cranberry Cookie Taste-Test: Update

I got back results from taste tests by two more of my coworkers.  The results are added and cumulative rankings are given  below.

Taster         Cin. Sugar    Coarse Sugar   Plain
Jeffrey                 1                 3                 2
Juli                      1                 3                 2
Taster 1              3                 1                 2
Taster 2              1                 3                 2
Taster 3              3                 1                 2
Taster 4              1                 2                 3
Taster 5              1                                 2
   Totals:            11               16               15

With these added results, it is more clear that most people prefer the cinnamon-sugar topping to either the coarse sugar or to no topping at all.  The vast majority of people also rate the plain cookies as their second-favorite of the three.  A couple people really liked the coarse sugar, but most found it their least-favorite of the three. 

With those results in mind, I'm reprinting the recipe to reflect the preferred topping option.

Pumpkin-Cranberry Cookies

yield = approx. 24 cookies

1/2      cup softened butter
1/2      cup granulated sugar
           (+ 3 teaspoons granulated sugar, optional)
1/2      cup packed light brown sugar
1         teaspoon vanilla extract
1         egg
1         cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
2         cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2         teaspoons baking powder
1         teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2   teaspoons ground cinnamon
           (+ 1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional)
1/2      teaspoon ground ginger
1/4      teaspoon salt
1         cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1/2      cup chopped walnuts
1          tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare two cookie sheets (by greasing, or covering with parchment paper or silicone non-stick baking mats).

Using a stand mixer, mix butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg; mix until smooth, then blend in pumpkin.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt, then add to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing until well-blended.  Stir in cranberries, walnuts and orange zest.

Place heaping teaspoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, flattening each just a bit.  (Option:  sprinkle a bit of coarse sugar atop each piece of dough).  Bake 10-12 minutes, until the cookies have just started to brown around the edges.   Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

If you wish, you may top the cookies with a cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Mix 3 teaspoons of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the top of each bit of dough with a bit of this mixture before cooking.


  1. My step-son loves all things cinnamon! When I make snickerdoodle cookies, not only do I do a cinnamon sugar over the top, but also a touch of course sea salt - he says the sweet/salty combo is amazing!

    These look delicious!

  2. I've been reading about cookies that combine salt and sweet on top. Interesting idea!

  3. What a great idea to use the pumpkin and cranberries in a cookie. I would of course have to do the sugar topping for my husband. They look wonderful!

  4. Juli here. Yep, these are yummy! At first I thought they were a little too cakey for my tastes, but after I tried one, I found that I wanted another one almost right away!