Halloween is just around the corner (although if you have been to your local big box store in the last week you might be convinced that christmas is next week!?). The temperatures are steadily falling and it wont be long before the leaves are changing to golden brown, yellow, orange, and red. This also means that pumpkins are in season. Pumpkins pack a ton of flavor and are super sweet. They can serve more purposes than just being dissected by your kids to make a face that ultimately ends up looking more like roadkill in the end. While most of us associate pumpkin foods with pumpkin pie, there are many more applications for this wonderful creation that mother earth has given us. Today, we bring to you a fantastic use of pumpkins that will both please just about anyone (even those that claim to not like pumpkin) and make your taste buds dance around like a gymnast on a trampoline. These cookies are sweeter than your favorite grandmother and pack more pumpkin flavor than you could get if you just chomped on a raw pumpkin.
I first came upon the idea of a pumpkin pinwheel cookie about 5 years ago now where I first prepared them for a seminar that I gave at Penn State. They were a huge hit and people were begging for more. Well, they never got them since I left Penn State shortly thereafter to head to California. I have made them several time since, but this is the first time that we took the pumpkin pinwheel cookies and made cookie sandwiches out of them. We were not disappointed. The cookies are stellar by themselves, but when you sandwich some cream filling between two of them, oh my, your taste buds just get all jittery. These pumpkin pinwheel cookies are perfect once filled or you can freeze them and eat them like ice cream sandwiches when you care craving something sweet at midnight.
The cookies are pretty straightforward but do require some time. The key step to making the pumpkin pinwheel cookies is freezing the dough log before cutting the cookies. An hour is required to do this but I would highly recommend letting the dough sit for several hours if not over night. You will thank me later. If you rush this step, the dough and filling will be too soft and the cookies will just turn into blobs when you try to cut them. Having a solid dough also prevents the cookies from spreading out into something that looks like it was run over by a semi. The cookies are topped with a sweet brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice crumble that gives the cookies a nice contrast in texture.
One last thing . . . you might want to double or triple this recipe since they will be gone before you know it. And, you can make these cookies at any time of the year since we use canned pumpkin puree.
Enjoy and we hope that your sweet tooth finds our pumpkin pinwheel cookie sandwiches fulfilling.