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Spirit of the Season

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Let’s start with the cookies, and then move on to the crafts fair and then to the winery. All in all, a busy weekend so far.

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The cookie inspiration came from Rantings of an Amateur Chef.

I adapted it to use my butternut squash instead of pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

What you will need:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup roasted butternut squash
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup natural cane sugar, for rolling the cookies

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until creamy and smooth. This took a while as i hadn’t softened the butter enough. Add the roasted butternut squash, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix at medium speed until well combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, not all at once. I had about a cup at a time. Continue mixing until combined and it starts to clump up.

Refrigerate the cookie dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour. The dough can be chilled for 2-3 days. I chill mine overnight when I can. Because I made a double batch, I did divide it in half.

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350° F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the cane sugar in a small bowl or on a plate. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in the cane sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges. I put two sheets at a time in the oven. Top and bottom third.

The cookies will still be soft. Let them cool on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I made larger cookies and got about 30 of them per batch.

I made a double batch to take to the Conservancy. The holiday crafts fair, which was a huge success. Including some amazing crafts made by the children. Like this one.

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I spent today assisting at the fair. Watching all the festivities and linking people with local farms for trees, and for holiday dinner items like beef and pork.

Then, we headed off to visit a new winery to try out some bubbly. Nothing like a good blanc de blanc to get you in the spirit.

Our first visit to Old Westminster Winery, and definitely not our last. What a wonderful family owned winery. Right up the road from Mt. Airy.

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Just the beginning of the holiday season and already we are out and enjoying the festivities. Here’s to a few more weekends spent out and about.

hocofood@@@

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

One response »

  1. The substitution you made in the cookies reminded me of an article about the relative merits of various types of pumpkins and squashes for making “pumpkin pie”: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/the-squash-you-should-use-in-pumpkin-pie/?_r=0 .

    Wow, what a creative rendition of an owl!

    Reply

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