Pumpkin Spice Anginetti Cookies

PumpkinAnginetti

Anginetti, soft, cake-like, Italian cookies are usually lemon or vanilla flavored.  But this basic cookie can be made in a variety of flavors.  I had some canned pumpkin on hand that was slated for a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but I decided not to make it because some of my guests didn’t like pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin pie, and the wonderful spices that go into it, was my inspiration for making these cookies.  These moist, spiced-up cookies with currants are irresistible.  Great cookies for the holidays, they can be made ahead of time and frozen. 

PUMPKIN SPICE ANGINETTI COOKIES

Difficulty Rating:  Easy
Makes 2 dozen large (3-inch) cookies.

FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH
1/3 cup dried Zante currants
2 tablespoons brandy or water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup butter
3/4 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree
1/3 cup milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FOR THE CINNAMON GLAZE
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  MAKE THE COOKIES: Place the currants and brandy in a small microwavable bowl or cup and microwave on high for 20 seconds.  Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.  

Using a whisk, combine the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. 

In a mixer bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy and sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. 

Reduce speed to low.  Add melted butter, pumpkin, milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix about 1 minute. 

Add flour mixture and currants, and mix until combined, about 2 minutes.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit 1 hour.

2.  BAKE THE COOKIES: Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

Using a large cookie/ice cream scoop (1/4-cup), scoop dough and place 2-inches apart onto cookie sheet.  Alternatively, you can drop rounded tablespoons of dough using a large spoon onto cookie sheet.  Place in oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes (slightly less time for smaller cookies), until cookies begin to color along edges.  Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

3.  MAKE THE CINNAMON GLAZE:  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or foil and place a cooling rack on top of each one.  Combine the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir with a spoon until smooth. 

Glaze the cookies one at a time by holding each cookie upside down and dipping the top of half into the glaze.  Turn right-side up and place on rack until glaze hardens, about 3 hours.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

4. MAKE AHEAD TIP:  To freeze, place on a cookie sheet until frozen.  Then place in an air-tight container.  Defrost several hours before serving by placing cookies on a platter or cake rack in a single layer at room temperature.

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