Keeping Holiday Traditions like “The Great Pumpkin”
October 14, 2014
Delicious homemade cooking was a hallmark of my childhood years. My mom never entered any cooking contests, but people “voted with their wallets” each day for the nearly 40 years that she made a home cooked lunch special for the small town restaurant that she and my dad owned.
From the time I was big enough to stand on a chair, I was mixing up cake batter. Several times each month we got together with our next-door neighbors where the conversation flowed freely and the desserts were plentiful. As a senior in high school, I still looked forward to those neighborly get-togethers. My neighbor lady taught me how to make sour cream raisin pie, too.
It’s no wonder that I associate good times and good friends with good food. Somewhere along the way, I developed a love for baking muffins. The first food projects I remember exhibiting as a young 4-H’er at the county fair was Chocolate Chip Muffins, which was a recipe my mom tore from the Farm Bureau Spokesman. I have to admit that the recipes are the first section I read in any farm newspaper, and that’s where I found one of my all-time favorite Halloween recipes.
“Great Pumpkin Cookies” caught my attention as though it were a headline on the evening news. I couldn’t resist trying a recipe with a name like that!. After all, I religiously read TV Guide each fall to see when “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was going to air. Then I marked my calendar so I’d be sure to catch the show because we didn’t have VCRs then let alone DVRs. We didn’t have the ability to rent movies at the library, let alone purchase them! Netflix wasn’t even within our wildest dreams. (My how times have changed!)
Even though there are many good holiday movies available today, it’s hard to beat a classic like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! This animated children’s film was based on the popular Peanuts comic strip. It’s also the theme of this week’s preschool story time at Enchanted Acres.
Join the fun at home! Click here to play the “Charlie Brown theme song” for a little background music as you bake these unique Great Pumpkin Cookies. And remember… This week you can also purchase a GIANT pumpkin from Enchanted Acres for just $15!
GREAT PUMPKIN COOKIES
Yields about 32 large cookies.
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ cups butter or margarine, softened
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1, 16-oz. can of solid pack pumpkin
1 cup real semi-sweet chocolate morsels or raisins
Assorted icing, candies, raisins or nuts.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, oats, soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
Cream butter; gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla; mix well.
Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition.
Stir in chocolate morsels (or raisins).
For each cookie, drop ¼ cup dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet; spread into pumpkin shape using a thin metal spatula.
Add a bit more dough to form stem.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until cookies are firm and lightly browned.
Remove from cookie sheets; cool on racks.
Decorate using icing or peanut butter to affix assorted candies, rains or nuts.
NOTE: Dough may be frozen in an air-tight container. Thaw in refrigerator and bake as directed.