for the cookies:
130 g butter
40 g vegetable shortening *
1 Tsp orange zest (freshly greater from 2 oranges)
85 g brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
140 g roasted butternut squash
310 g flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg powder
pinch of salt
* you could use one part of butter and one part of vegetable shortening, or you could use 170 g butter
Note: Roast your own pumpkin. The canned pumpkin purée is soggy and has lost all the flavours. Roasting the pumpkin on your own will give you control over the stage at which you would like to bake it - just until is soft enough to mash it, or until the sugars caramelize on top. I caramelized the squash, scrape it out from its skin and add it to the mixer bowl, whiteout any further treatment. I kept the caramelized top, although it added slight dark colouring here and there into the baked cookies.
1. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sorry, no ginger in my cookies - cinnamon is my autumn scream, ginger ... a bit later, around Christmas...
2. With a paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and zest. Beat in the sugar. Add the yolk. Combine well. Add vanilla extract and beat until creamy. Add the roasted squash and homogenize well.
3. Add the dry ingredients and with just few movements, form a dough.
4. Place the dough in between two wrapping foil sheets (or parchment paper sheets), roll it out thick and place in the fridge.
Because of the fruit, the dough would be a bit harder to handle than the ordinary butter cookies.
1. Take the dough out of the fridge. Roll it thinly - about 5-6 mm. Working fast, until the dough is cold, cut out cookies in shapes, that speak to you at that precise moment. The cut outs will be slightly sticky, but they will still keep the shape.
2. Arrange them on a lined with parchment paper (or silicon liner) baking pan. Bake at 190C until golden with brown edges.
3. Collect the excessive dough, form a ball, roll out, cool, cut cookies and bake.
Store in an air tight container.
The cookies are moist inside and nicely crispy on the outside. Because of their small sugar quantity, it is preferably to use butternut squash. The natural sugars of this fruit elevates the taste as much as the sweetness of the cookies. Serve with warm milk with honey, or herbal tea.