November 3, 2013

Anise Pumpkin Cookies

anise, cookies, pumpkin, recipe, spice, halloween

My daughter and I made a tiny little jack-o-lantern for Hong Kong Halloween.   Then after Halloween was over I felt bad about poor Mr. Jack-O, smiling toothily away, not knowing that we were about to toss him out like a used wash rag.  

So I decided we were to make pumpkin cookies from the ol' fella and even added a twist of our own, making Anise flavored Pumpkin Cookies.  Because I love anise and am always trying to find ways to use that bottle of heavenly liquorice scented anise extract hiding in the cupboard.  Weird sounding combination, but you know what, the flavors really go together!

anise, cookies, pumpkin, recipe, spice, halloween

First we made our own pumpkin puree, which was really the point of the whole exercise (to gently and usefully demise Mr. Jack-O).  It was very easy!  Just cut the pumpkin up, scrap off any candle wax and put in the oven until soft.  Peel off the skin and mash it up and you're done!

anise, cookies, pumpkin, recipe, spice, halloween

The pumpkin puree came out a lovely deep orange and it smelled heavenly while roasting.  After that my daughter and I quickly whipped up the cookie mixture, plonked in the fresh homemade pumpkin puree and stuck our cookie sheet into the oven.  

I really love the look of comprehension on my little girl's face when she watches me make something from scratch.  It makes all the extra effort worth the while.  She was very fascinated to see how her little jack-o-lantern got recycled into a delicious Halloween treat for her little tummy.

anise, cookies, pumpkin, recipe, spice, halloween
Anise Pumpkin Cookies Recipe
(Prep time: 50 mins  Cook time: 15 mins) (Adapted from here)



Cut up your jack-o-lantern into pieces that will fit nicely on baking tray.  Bake for 45 minutes or so at 350F or until soft when pierced with fork.  Take out of oven and cover with towel for 10 minutes ( This helps to steam off pumpkin skin).  Remove pumpkin skin by peeling with knife or fingers.  Blend the pumpkin into a puree.  Reserve one cup for the cookies and freeze the rest for next time.
Oven preheat to 350F.  Mis flour, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add pumpkin, egg, vanilla and anise and mix.  Add dry ingredients and stir til just mixed.  Drop onto cookie sheets by spoonfuls.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Enjoy Mr. Jack-O reinvented with an asian twist!



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