The Cookie Crumbles

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1. Cried.
2. Quit Facebook.
3. Hugged my friends.
4. Donated to Planned Parenthood.
5. Made this galette. (It’s wonderful.)
6. Read this. (Funny)
7. Read this. (Not Funny)
8. RAGE.
9. Went on some walks.
10. Visited the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line.

That’s a list of some of the things that I’ve done since November 8th. I thought by now I would have something to say about something, but I don’t. I don’t know any more than anyone else. And I think that is why the present moment is so painful. None of us know what to do or what will happen. Sorry, it sucks. But there is work to be done. And here I am writing about cookies, which is both the best and worst thing I can do.

***

A few weeks ago, which feels like a year ago, I made some pumpkin cookies from Dorie Greenspan’s new tome, Dorie’s Cookies. The book is an invaluable resource for all of us who understand that cookies are the absolute best dessert. I was most excited to get my hands on the recipes for Dorie’s famous Jammers. (And I was delighted to even get a mention in the book. Truly a blogging career highlight. Thanks, Dorie!)

If you haven’t come across versions of these cookies before, what sets them apart is that rather than bake them on a cookie sheet they are baked in ring molds or muffin tins, giving them a tidiness and consistency that makes the home cook feel like a pastry chef. They’re wonderful. This particular version has a warmly spiced cookie, topped with a pumpkin and cream cheese filling and a crunchy streusel. They’re a real dream and perfect for this time of year. Make them, they’ll make you feel good.

ALSO! Dorie is coming to Chicago. And there will be cookies! I am hosting an event with her at Floriole in December. Details are all HERE. For $45 you get a copy of the book, and a cookie reception with booze! It is going to be rad.

***

Thanksgiving is Thursday. I hope you all are planning a good one. Was thinking now might be a good time to share some stuff we are thankful for. Wanna use the comments below for that? I’ll start.

***

Spiced Pumpkin Jammers (from Dorie’s Cookies)

For the Streusel

  • 3/4 cup (102 grams) all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (Dorie says 1/4 teaspoon, but I like my streusel salty)
    5 1/2 tablespoons (78 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/3 cup unsalted hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 2 cups (271 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    2 sticks (8 oz; 226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Pumpkin Filling

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup; 113 grams) full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
    1/2 cup (113 grams) canned pumpkin puree (drained if watery)

 

Make the streusel:

Whisk the flour, both sugars, the cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Drop in the cubes of cold butter and toss all of the ingredients together with your hands until the butter is coated. Squeeze, mash, mush or otherwise rub everything together until you have a bowlful of moist clumps and curds. Squeeze the streusel and it will hold together. Sprinkle over the vanilla and toss to blend. Stir in the pumpkin seeds. Pack the streusel into a small container and refrigerate.

Make the Cookie Dough:

Whisk the flour, cinnamon, ginger and allspice together.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, both sugars, and the salt together in medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. One by one, beat in the yolks, beating for one minute after each one goes in and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Turn the mixer off, add the dry ingredients all at once and pulse to begin blending. When the risk of flying flour has passed, mix on low speed until the flour mixture disappears into the dough.

Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide it in half. Gather each piece into a ball and shape into a disk.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough 1/4-inch thick between pieces of parchment paper. Slide the parchment-sandwiched dough onto a baking sheet — you can stack the slabs — and freeze for at least 1 hour or refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, Make the Filling:

Use a sturdy flexible spatula to beat the cream cheese in a small bowl until soft and smooth. Work in the pumpkin puree.

Get Ready to Bake:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350°F. Butter or spray a regular muffin tin, or two tins, if you’ve got them. Have a 2-inch diameter cookie cutter on hand.

Working with one sheet of dough at a time, peel away both pieces of parchment paper and put the dough back on one of the pieces. Cut the dough and drop the rounds into the muffin tin(s). Save the scraps from both pieces of dough, gather them together, re-roll, chill and cute. Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t completely fill the cups; it will once it’s baked.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the pumpkin filling onto the center of each cookie and use the back of the spoon to spread it across the cookie, leaving a slim border. Spoon or sprinkle streusel over the cookies to cover the entire surface.

Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the tins after 12 minutes, or until the streusel and edges of the cookies are golden brown. Leave the cookies in the tin(s) for about 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

Repeat with the remaining dough, always making certain that the tins are cool.

The baked cookies will keep at room temperature for a couple of days or can be frozen for longer storage.

 

30 comments to “The Cookie Crumbles”

  1. I’m thankful for everyone who works so much harder than me to make the world a better place. Also for limited edition Oreo flavors.

  2. I’m thankful for this blog (and that article on the turkey hotline!). I’m thankful for my friends who are willing to stick their necks out for what’s right–working “harder than me to make the world a better place” is about right. And I’m thankful I get to spend time in a warm kitchen counting blessings and forgetting about all the stuff out there. And wine.

  3. I’m stuck on 8. After 1 and 2 I’m still trying to swallow the absurdity of it all. Yesterday I made a donation to the pipeline protesters. That helped a bit.

    I’m thankful I don’t have children. I’m thankful to have lived in a time where narwhals and polar bears and health care and women’s rights were real things. I’m thankful for the bubble of California. I’m thankful for the distraction of your blog and others. The Food Network cooking shows.

    I’ve been relegated to bringing salad, SALAD! on Thursday. It’ll be a massaged kale, shredded sprout number with cranberries and pomegranates and nuts, maybe some cheese too, but I think I’ll need to make these cookies over the weekend. Thanks1

  4. I’m thankful for my parents, who worked to give me many advantages in life but made sure I learned enough about the world to avoid taking my privilege for granted. I’m thankful for a supportive partner and a warm, stable home. Lastly, thankful that I don’t have to spend Thanksgiving with my extended family this year – it’s just too soon, too raw, and I might accidentally compare to the burnished color of the turkey to His Tanned Face, irreparably damaging what are otherwise warm family ties.

  5. Jennifer Quinlan says:

    November 21st, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I knew this village was a bubble, but I had no idea. I’m so sad and so angry and at a loss. I’m worried for friends, loved ones, and my four kids. We have to hold our heads high and carry on, I suppose.

    And then, I am grateful for this bubble. It makes me feel safe.

  6. I’m thankful for home-baked cookies and the intentions behind baking them (which are almost always lovely). I’m thankful that I feel free and in feeling free, I can work to make sure others feel free too. I’m thankful for voices like Tim’s. I’m thankful for nicely designed feminist T-shirts.

  7. Tim:
    I appreciate this post. Like you, I’m deeply saddened and don’t know what to say. I’m thankful to have had the Obamas for eight years. We’ll carry on their work when they leave the White House but it ain’t gonna be the same. I, too, am thankful I can donate to worthy causes. Planned Parenthood is on my list too….and the ACLU and….
    Have a good holiday.
    D

  8. I’m thankful for all the sacrifice my parents did for me to have the safe and prosperous life I have, and for all the parents that do it for their kids today. I’m thankful for selflessness, community and micro-collectives that can change lives one at a time.

    I’m thankful for all the good things we are capable of doing to one another, at a time when darkness seems to be prevalent.

  9. I’m thankful for my parents, who are lovely socially and politically conscious people and have provided such a great example to me. Talking to them over the last two weeks has been the biggest comfort- even though they are as worried as the rest of us. I’m thankful to live in the same state as them and be able to enjoy their company during the holidays.

    My list looks eerily similar to yours, minus the Butterball visit. Haven’t read the Eater article yet but look forward to it!

  10. Every day since the election I have stopped by to see if there is a new post (just doing my blog rounds), and every day I have stopped to contemplate your photo of young Hillary Clinton and feel sad. So many food bloggers have said, “Oh, we can’t do politics here, too divisive” even when you KNOW what they privately think– the fact that you were willing to wear your heart on your sleeve made me know that you must surely be suffering now. So, I am so so sorry. Best to you as we figure out how to get through this.

  11. Thanks for making me cry at work Tim!
    These were (mostly) happy tears.
    I’m thankful that you continue to use your blog and your oven for the greater good.
    I’m also thankful for your reminder of hope that Lottie and Doof gave me today. After weeks of feeling sad and lost and hopeless for myself, my friends, my nieces and nephews, my 80 year old parents and for people I don’t even know. The events in 2016 leading up to the election and since, have had me feeling things I never thought I would after a little over four decades on this planet (fear, doubt, shame, outrage). I truly thought I lived in a different (better) America. I thought some of my “friends” were smarter,kinder and more educated. Thanks to social media for uncovering their brilliant disguises.
    You reminded me today that while we are still here we have time to continue to make this world not just what we thought it was or think it should be- but even better than that.

  12. i am thankful for all of the people helping, working and thanking. i am really thankful for the sharing of ideas and the conversations that were, are and will. i am thankful that in a mess of an inbox I can get your blog posts delivered and feel connected and hungry for cookies!

  13. I’m still struggling, but I haven’t had a panic attack in two days, so that’s a start! One thing that helped me break a panic attack last week was call my senator from bed. I spoke to her staffer for ten minutes and was then able to move.

    I am grateful that I have a computer and can look up information to make daily calls, funds to increase my monthly donation to Planned Parenthood, start a monthly donation to the ACLU, and a paid digital subscription to the NYT. I am grateful that I live in a very “blue” city and am surrounded by people equally as stunned and willing to do the work to make sense of this world. I am grateful for people being open and honest and sharing their words, and now, more than ever, I am grateful for my original love, food.

  14. I’m also grateful for all of your familiar names that pop up in these comments. Some of you have been hanging around for years and it means so much to me. xoxo

  15. I’m thankful for bloggers like you who put their heart and fears and hopes out there so that your readers know they aren’t alone. I’m thankful for some small means to be able to contribute to agencies doing good in the world. I’m thankful that although I live in a state that for whatever crazy reasons sees mostly red, my town is a tiny dot of blue. I’m thankful for health and family and travel. And I’m thankful that little things like new cookie recipes can make hearts feel a bit lighter.

  16. I’m thankful that I have people to care for and people who care about me, I’m always thankful for dessert.

  17. I’m thankful for everyone who doesn’t just move on. I’m thankful for other food writers expressing the same doubts that I’ve had since November 8: whether writing about cookies is really the journey to continue now. (I also write about food & climate change,food & migration, food & health, food & power. But still: all these cookies vs. all these things that need fighting for.) I’m thankful for the good politicians and journalists that are left and for strong ngo’s. I don’t know if you call them ngo’s in the US. I’m in Belgium and it’s been a seismic wave here, too. I’m thankful for the way internet makes it easier to connect with likeminded people, inspire each other, raise each other up.
    And thank you for this blog, I love it.

  18. Thank you for writing this. As I have checked back in the last two weeks, it has been reassuring to see the lovely HRC’s face. Thank you for being bold and honest. It’s something we can do.
    I have realized that I need to do more, every day, for the greater good. Things seemed to be going so well that I guess I’d gotten complacent being on the right side of history.
    Last week – donated to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Food Lifeline. Today, bought spices from Penzey’s, planning to write some congressmen because I was just told that would count for more. Ok. I’m stepping up. This is my wake-up call. But we are stronger together.

  19. I’m thankful that there are like-minded people out there, crying, getting angry, figuring out what on earth to do, and baking cookies. I also quit facebook, but have reached out to my real friends – all of whom I’m very thankful for.

  20. I’m thankful for Pantsuit Nation which reminds me there are many of us fighting the good fight, for nature to retreat to and clear my head, and for my dog who has no idea what any of this madness means and simplifies life when I get home.

  21. I’m thankful for everyone who fights to make the world a better place. I’m thankful for my niece, who fills me with so much love it’s unbelievable. I’m thankful for the doctors and all the staff that removed that bastard tumor from his brain. And universal health care, so thankful for that. I’m thankful for second chances. I’m thankful for those who speak up, even/especially when it’s the uncomfortable thing to do.

  22. Thankful for pie, thankful for my students who are more thoughtful than anyone ever gives teenagers credit for being, thankful for artists & writers who push me and teach me, thankful for my happy childhood and the twenty-three years I had with my dad before he died, thankful for the chance to watch my mom be a grandmother because it is the best thing ever, thankful for my wife, thankful for wine, thankful for my four-year-old whose heart is as big as his appetite, thankful for you.

  23. Sigh. Yep. All of it. xo

  24. Usually I remain voiceless here, just enjoying your writing and recipes. I have some anger left; yes, I admit it. I don’t see it leaving me anytime over the next, say, four years. I’m thankful that tomorrow I can go canvas for Foster Campbell, the last long-shot we have for one more Democrat in the Senate. I’m grateful I live in a blindingly blue city, unfortunately surrounded by blood red. I’m thankful despite the sea of red, we still elected a Democrat for governor last year. I’m grateful I still have hope – and that you’re still putting up posts, sharing recipes to calm me. Thanks. We’ll get it right next time. Yes?

  25. I’m thankful for this blog and your writing! And to not be hungry or in poor health. I’m thankful for all the brave people who continue to speak out for those struggling to be heard, teaching me what I can do to helped though at the moment I feel downright useless. And I’m thankful for my cat. Watching her sleeping at the foot of my bed when I wake up in the am is the only thing making this month bearable.

  26. Hi Tim! Just back from my trip to the western suburbs for Thanksgiving, so I finally got a chance to read this, and it transported me right back! Haha. I’m so thankful for my family there, even if we did all get the flu and my mom’s house was a total barf-o-rama all weekend. To family! xx

  27. I’m thankful for wonderful writers that always seem to know just what I need, like another amazing cookie recipe.

  28. they talk about the 8 stages of grief but I think my shock alone had about 10 stages.
    shaking
    freezing
    hot
    numb
    withdrawal
    thought spirals
    silence
    yelling
    eyes rolling to back of head
    good ol’ sobbing
    I don’t care if it’s a ‘dirty word’ now, this blog is a SAFE SPACE and I need it
    <3

  29. I am absolutely MAD about this list! Love it thank you and may the force be with us all until Joe Biden comes on a unicorn to save us.

  30. schneiderluvsdoof says:

    February 1st, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Thankful for YOU!

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