April 16, 2006 - Joanne

Iced Pumpkin Rock Cookies with Shagbark Hickory Nuts!

Pumpkin Rock Cookies with Shagbark Hickory Nuts

Icing Optional

1 15oz can of Pumpkin puree (Organic)
1 stick unsalted butter softened or at room temperature
1/2c dark brown sugar (packed)
1/8c malted barley syrup
1 egg, large
1/4c Apple Butter
1/4c Apple Sauce (I used Gravenstein)
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, Freshly Grated
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

1c Cake Flour (Giusto's)
1c Rolled Oats
1/2c Miller's Bran (I used Kenyon's)
1c Shagbark Hickory Nuts or Walnut or Pecan pieces
1/2c currants (optional)

1tsp Baking Soda
1/2tsp Salt

Optional Icing
¾ stick of unsalted butter
2c of Confectioner’s Sugarc
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Makes about 24 cookies
(depending on the size of dollop)

Preheat Oven to 350°F
Cream butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Whisk in Barley syrup and then the egg. Then add the applesauce, apple butter, pumpkin and cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients: flour, oats, baking soda, bran and salt, and then stir into the wet ingredients until incorporated. Then stir in the walnuts and optional currants.
 Drop Spoonfuls
Drop spoonfuls onto greased baking sheets 1-2" diameter and press down lightly on the piles with the back of a spoon.
Refrigerate sheet for 5-10 minutes before placing in hot oven.
Bake about 18 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the cookie - check them at 12 minutes. Internal temperature should be 180-190°F.

Cool on a rack and ice when warm to touch but not hot.

Icing:Mix all ingredients - I use a stainless steel knife in a pyrex measuring cup. Spread or dollop icing on cookies as desired. If you have a “helper” sprinkles are best added after the icing has slightly set, so ice everything and then add the sprinkles when you are finished.

Notes: The use of cake flour instead of all-purpose makes for a cakier cookie which resembles almost a muffin in texture.

Instead of apple butter you can just use all applesauce – if you use all apple butter it will result in a sweeter finished product.

You could use raisins instead of currants.

If you are making your own pumpkin puree make sure that you drain it well first. The Organic “Farmer’s Market” puree I used is very dense and is not at all watery or pourable.

Instead of Miller's Bran you can add Graham Flour. I used Kenyon's Miller's Bran.

Shagbark Hickory Nuts: The Slow Food USA website states that "The Shagbark hickory nut is the most prized and sought after nut of the hickory family. The flavor of the Shagbark hickory nut is sweet and very rich. The seed is delicate and sweet with no trace of bitterness. The Shagbark hickory is a rare nut of extreme high quality." Read more on Shagbark Hickory Nuts here.

We purchased two pounds of them and really love them; think small great walnuts but I also think they have a pecan-like flavor.

Our source for Shagbark Hickory Nuts is Ray's Hickory Nuts.
Assembled Ingredients

Shagbark Hickory Nuts
Shagbark Hickory Nuts

Brown Sugar and Butter
Brown Sugar & Butter (I partially melted it)

Before you add Pumpkin and Apple Butter/Sauce

Add Pumpkin
After the Pumpkin is whisked in

Dry Ingredients Mixed
Dry Ingredients ready to add

Mix in Dry
Dry mixed into wet

From the Oven
Out of the Oven

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