You don’t have to be sitting in front of a blazing fire to appreciate my Hearthside Pumpkin Cookies, but it doesn’t hurt. As the colder weather begins to take over I take comfort from thoughts of hot drinks (warm grog anyone?), good food, and the glow of the fireplace.
As I research more and more about the hardships faced by the early settlers in Virginia for my Alexandria novels, The View from Prince Street and At the Corner of King Street, I like to think I’d have had their courage and endurance, especially in the face of the challenging and truly dangerous winter season.
Who knows? Maybe I would have. It’s hard, though, to even imagine myself in that time as I’m sitting by my gas fireplace, drinking a lovely toddy heated in my microwave, and choosing from a variety of goodies whipped up in the comfort of my kitchen from ingredients that, if I wanted, I could have picked up the phone and had delivered. Not that I wouldn’t want to grow, harvest and mill my own flour, of course.
So, with thanks for all we have in this time and place, I share a recipe I think carries a taste of old Alexandria, my Hearthside Pumpkin Cookies, as I take a moment to reflect on the city’s history and all who contributed to making it what it is today.
Mary Ellen’s Hearthside Pumpkin Cookies
2 ½ cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup or 1 stick of butter
1 ½ cups of white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl blend together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. In a separate bowl cream together butter, sugar and then add the egg. Mix in pumpkin and vanilla. Add the dry mixture to the pumpkin-sugar mixture 1/3 at a time. Scoop onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.