Monday, November 23, 2015

Pumpkin Cinnamon Kipferl Cookies

The last time I made these delicious Austrian cookies, I put a lavender flavor spin on them. That was several years ago and I can't believe it took me this long to continue experimenting with the flavors.

For those of you not familiar with Kipferl, they are traditional Austrian vanilla Christmas crescent-shaped cookies (Vanillekipferl).

The best part about these little gems is they are very simple to make. The most time-consuming part is hand shaping the crescents. 

This version is a Fall flavored riff on these powdered sugar coated treats.

Adding fresh roasted pumpkin to the batter and cinnamon to the sugar coating adds a slight orange tint to the color and a bit of seasonal spice to the classic almond taste.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Kipferl Cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes 

Bake Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 dozen cookies

  • 1 + 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup almond meal 
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh roasted pumpkin puree (recipe below) 
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, salt and almond meal. Set aside.
In a mixer, on medium-high speed, cream together the butter and vanilla.
Add the roasted pumpkin puree and continue to mix on high speed until the pumpkin puree is evenly combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix thoroughly.
Turn the mixer down to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
If you have a kipferl baking pan, grease the pan and press the dough into the kipferl shaped molds.
If you don't have a kipferl pan, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Pinch off a handful portion of dough at a time. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Use both palms to roll the dough out into a long rope about an index finger thick. 
Divide the rope into 2-inch pieces. One at a time, place each piece on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and bend to the left to form a crescent shape. Pinch each end of the crescent to form a point.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the cookies for 15 minutes.
In a shallow small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and ground cinnamon.
Remove the kipferl from the oven and when the cookies are cool enough to handle but still warm, roll each one in the cinnamon powdered sugar mixture and place on a serving platter.

How to Make Fresh Roasted Pumpkin purée:

You will need one or more pie pumpkins. One small pumpkin makes more than enough purée for this recipe.

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place the pumpkin WHOLE on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove the pumpkin from the oven and use a sharp carving knife to cut off the stem and discard unless you want to save it for a craft or decoration. If the knife does not cut easily through the pumpkin, return the whole pumpkin to the oven for another 10 minutes. 
  • Slice the pumpkin into quarters and lay them flesh side up on the baking sheet. Return the pumpkin quarters to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is completely soft. 
  • Let the quarters cool completely. Scoop out the seeds along with any tough stringy parts. Save the seeds if you wish to roast them later. 
  • When the pumpkin quarters have completely cooled, scoop out the flesh from the skin and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until puréed. 
  • Transfer the pumpkin purée to a plastic container and refrigerate or freeze until use. 

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