Halloweegan Spiced Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies

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Today we're having a not-so-kooky Halloweegan treat. Spiced pumpkin cookies with a sweet chocolate filling, anyone?

Spiced Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies - Take 2

These are a reversed version of the Pumpkin-O's of Halloweegan 2008. Those were chocolate cookies with a pumpkin buttercream filling instead. The first batch of this new version had carved faces, but I didn't have too much fun with the carving process...

Spiced Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies - Take 1
*sad trombone*

So I just drew the faces instead of attempting to carve them again when I made the second batch. You can do whatever you want, but it might work better to refrigerate the cookies for a while before you carve them, if that's what you want to do. Also, because I don't use artificial food colorings they're not very orangey, but if you're OK with using food coloring then go for it! :)

Spiced Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate filling:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tbsp rice milk

1. In a microwaveable glass bowl combine the chocolate chippers and the milk. Microwave at 50% power for a minute.

2. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat until the chocolate is completely smooth. Let it cool at room temperature until you're ready to spread it on the cookies.

For the cookies:

1/2 cup margarine, cold (I use soy-free Earth Balance)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree, cold
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg*
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional, for color)
1/2 tsp sweet paprika (optional, for color)
1 3/4 to 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Use an electric mixer to cream the margarine and sugar. Beat on high until fluffy and creamy.

3. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, turmeric, and paprika and beat on high until smooth.

4. Stir in the flour, adding 1/2 cup at a time, until a somewhat firm dough forms. It should be just a little sticky, but not soft. How much flour you will need depends on how liquid your pumpkin puree is.

5. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. If the rolling pin keeps sticking to it, lightly sprinkle some flour on top of the dough.

6. Use a 3.5 inch pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheet. Gather the leftover dough, roll it out again and repeat.

7. If you're going to carve the faces out, use a small, pointy knife to cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth. This was no fun for me, but if you want to do it go for it! Leave half of the cookies uncarved.

8. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges start to barely brown. Cool on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes, transfer the cookies to cooling racks and let them cool to room temperature.

Putting them together:

1. Spread a generous amount of chocolate all over the top of a cookie. Place another cookie on top of the chocolate and gently press down. If you carved the top cookie, the chocolate will come out of the carved areas. If it doesn't, you can microwave the chocolate for 4 or 5 seconds to barely soften it.

2. If you decided not to carve them and you want to draw the faces on top instead, you will need to use a clean, dry microwaveable bowl to melt about 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave. It takes my microwave 90 seconds on medium power, stirring every 30 seconds, to melt the chips completely. Transfer the melted chips to a small ziploc bag and cut the tip off one of the bottom corners. Draw the faces on the cookies as you squeeze the chocolate out of the little opening. Keep and serve at room temperature.

Makes 8 (3.5 inch) sandwich cookies.


* I liked the batch that I made with just 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, but Mr. Wing-It liked the 1/4 teaspoon batch best. I guess it depends on your tastebuds!

* The sandwich cookies might be slippery at first, but the chocolate will harden up nicely after a half hour or so.

Spiced Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies
I wish the cookies looked so bright-orange on the outside too!

Fabulous Ms. Monique has given me a Versatile Blogger award! Thank you, Mo! You rock some serious socks and you are the Queen of Everything! So now I have to tell you seven things about myself that might be shocking to you. Hmm. I'll try.

1. When I was younger I spent many nights making royal icing flowers, filling cream puffs, and dipping tiny things in chocolate for my mother's catering business.

2. This is embarrassing, but I can't cook rice! My rice is always a mushy, pasty disaster.

3. I love chocolate and I love strawberries, but I don't really like chocolate covered strawberries!

4. When I was a teenager I wanted to be one of the Spice Girls, but I don't think they were looking for a Mild Spice.

5. I have massive trust issues :)

6. I grew up with a parrot who could swear like a sailor...

7. I might have taught that parrot a dirty word or two.

There! Now the rules of the award state that I must pass it on to seven bloggers. I usually have a hard time choosing, but this one is a non-brainer because I have been meaning to *poke* a few blogs that haven't been around for a while: Eat'n Veg'n, Musings From the Fishbowl, Show me Vegan, Spotted Devil Cat and His Vegan Assistant, Vegan for the People, VeganView, Zoey's Kitchen. So there, we miss you and we want you back! Consider yourselves poked!

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  1. I'd like 2 please! A happy one and a grumpy one ~ for balance! ;P

    They look simple but impressive, which is my favourite combo! I will definitely be making these :)

    And it's always nice to learn new things about you. You deserve every award there is! :D

  2. CUUUUTE, festive cookies! :)

    And yaaaay for the award!

  3. Those look gorgeous, River! I bet they are delicious.

  4. Way too cute, and the fact that they sound sooo yummy is even better. I have got to make these! :o)

  5. i'm all about natural colors, and i think your spiced pumpkin halloweegan sandwich cookies are perfectly orange, River! they're also adorable - and i must admit, i have a soft spot for the little sadfaced ones. ah ha ha! i like both the carved and frosted faced versions - i can totally see how carving them can get tedious. you have a lot more patience than i do, my friend! rock on with the shout-out to Mo. i loooove Mo Betta Vegan blog - she's crazy versatile - and i LOVE all of her themed eats and dinner party plates. i'm always wishing i could be a guest for dinner in her home. mmmmmmm! it took me a while to learn how to cook rice - a lot of trial and error. i'm sure you've gotten lots of rice cooking advice, but here's how we make it in our home: 1 cup brown rice 2 cups water. place the dry brown rice in a large pot and turn the heat on high. let the rice toast a smidge for about a minute and then add in the 2 cups of water (or any 1 part rice: 2 part water ratio). let the water come to a boil then cover the pot with a lid. turn it down to low - our stove knobs read LO 1-9 HIGH, we turn it down between the LO and the #1. let this cook for 50 minutes (20 minutes if it's white rice) then remove it from the heat BUT keep the rice covered for 10 more minutes. uncover, give it a stir, and you're g-t-g (good to go!). yay!

    p.s. - i love strawberries and chocolate, but i don't care for them together either. :)

  6. Absolutely going to make these later this month!! So simple and cute. I might make them without the chocolate filling for a preschool class snack.

  7. Adorable as always!

    My wish in life is to have a swearing parrot ;)

  8. Gorgeous. Keep the halloweenie cuties coming. :-)

  9. All of your Halloweegan goodies are genius. I love your blog. It is so great.

    Krys and the boys

  10. They are adorable and I like both the cut out and iced versions!

  11. They are adorable and I like both the cut out and iced versions!

  12. Your cookies aren't cakey at all! Clearly, I need to conduct another experiment. You know, for the sake of science.

  13. Oh my, I adore these -- both batches! And what an interesting combination of spices in the cookie. Very intriguing.



  14. Loved the fun info about you!

    These cookies are fabulous! So cute and they sound yummy!!!

  15. I love your Halloween posts! You're so clever and creative.

    My rice used to turn out awful too. Then I found a rice maker at a thrift store for $4 and decided to give it a whirl. No more bad rice. Turns out it was a cheap model and the cord doesn't stay in so it sometimes malfunctions but I love it so much I'm probably going to upgrade to a better one soon.

  16. I love the varied facial expressions! I see disgruntled pumpkin...terrified pumpkin...smug pumpkin...forlorn pumpkin...

    Your #4 fact made me laugh, and I love the innocent smiley face you paired with #5, hehe!

  17. I love the color of these cookies — a beautiful golden orange. If they were bright fakey orange, I wouldn't be able to eat them.

  18. I LOVE these cookies and strangely I like the first batch better. Fun things I didn't know about you - my grandmother had parrots and one of them could swear like a sailor too! It always left me in fits of giggles. Congrats on your award.

  19. These cookies look amazing! YUM! Pumpkin cookies squished together with chocolate- oh my! I love the faces too! Super creative. And paprika for coloring is very cool. I like it!

  20. These cookies look amazing! YUM! Pumpkin cookies squished together with chocolate- oh my! I love the faces too! Super creative. And paprika for coloring is very cool. I like it!

  21. Hey! These look really cute:) I'm making them for Halloween myself!
    Greets from Big Fat Cook

  22. Is it possible to use extra virgin coconut oil?
    The vegan butters available in the Netherlands don't taste very well.

  23. Andrea from cookeasy vegan let me know about your blog award mention. thanks! I know I've been a total slacker at blogging. I'm bad :). you'll be happy to know that when halloween season comes around I want to say halloweegan instead, which immediately makes me think of you & all the cool things you make.

  24. You're so cute! I've been poked. In fact, I've been poked by lots of cuties lately. I need to stop playing outside and get blogging.
    Have you tried a rice cooker? If I were wealthy I'd buy you one!

  25. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments and the rice-cooking tips! :D

    Yvonne - I couldn't find a way to contact you so I'm replying here. Interesting question! I don't have a lot of experience cooking with coconut oil, but I know it's probably best to use a little less than the full amount of fat called for. Maybe 1/3 cup instead of 1/2? Can you try half margarine and half coconut oil? The spices and the pumpkin do a great job at hiding the buttery flavor. I hope that helps! :)

  26. I love the tumeric & paprika for color--what a good idea! Though I only have smoked paprika so maybe not such a good idea for me :)

  27. Too cute! I prefer the icing-d ones, of course--more chocolate to eat!! I'd say they look just orange enough, too. And I loved your 7 things. How cool that your mum was a caterer! Personally, I would have enjoyed seeing a "Mild Spice"--I wasn't too crazy about the other ones! ;)

  28. Yay! Halloweegan is my favorite time of year. These look delectable!

    And...Mild Spice! <3

  29. Hey, your blog is looking awesome these days! You are rocking Halloweegan. I'm flattered that you "poked" me (is that weird)? But not sure when I'll get back to blogging! I still follow you guys but am obsessed with working with the shelter dogs and developing my dog training skills. Sigh, maybe one day I can retire and do EVERYTHING.

  30. hey River, would you be okay with my linking to this post (and a few others) and adding a pic to bakingishot.com? we're doing posts related to halloween right now, so I think it'd be awesome to have your kick-ass stuff there! email me if you are okay with it.
    celine @ havecakewilltravel.com

  31. Love your blog River! Love these fun cookies too - I'll take a sad one and put it out of its misery. ;)

  32. Oh - and these awesome cookies are the star of our homepage right now - thank you!

    xo Patty

  33. You are too cute! There are so many awesome desserts that I want to try now.


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