Halloween is back! This year we are a lot more able to enjoy it than the & deathly Halloween of 2020.
I received a lovely gift from Hygiene Egypt this month: Hokkaido Pumpkins! These Japanese pumpkins have a sweet, bright orange flesh. They are rich, creamy and carry vivid notes of chestnut in their flavor. You can cook them and eat them with their vibrant skin on, too. I really couldn’t let any of them go to waste, so I came up with a recipe that will also use the pumpkin seeds.
My Pumpkin Bat-chip Cookies are bound to roll some heads this Halloween season. I had bought these little sugar/cake decoration bats a couple of years ago and haven’t used them since. To accompany the cookies; your average cold glass of milk was not going to cut it for creativity. Finding a replacement to suit Halloween was not very easy; until my dear friend and colleague, Louli offered to lend me her skull shaped bottle. I thought skulls are usually white in color, right? And “evil witches’ Halloween potions” often come in green.. So why don’t I mix the best of both worlds and make mint milk to go with the cookies?! Don’t blame me if they don’t taste good together.. The palate for this concoction could be an acquired thing.. LOL The recipe for the mint milk is simple; 1 part green mint syrup to 2 parts of your favorite milk.
Here’s the recipe:
- 160g AP flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 80g butter
- 100g pumpkin puree
- 75g granulated white sugar
- 25g soft brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 35g shelled pumpkin seeds
- Sugar decorations (optional)
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Dry ingredients means: flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
- Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and then add the pumpkin puree to it.
- Mix until fairly combined (some pumpkin puree clumps are acceptable).
- Add the sugars. Stir them in briefly and take the pan off the heat.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract to the sauce pan. Stir to combine.
- Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough starts to form.
- Add the pumpkin seeds and continue to fold the ingredients until almost no dry flour is visible.
- Using an ice-cream scoop, portion out the mixture into cookies on a baking sheet. Decorate the tops of your cookies with more pumpkin seeds or chocolate chips or whatever else you fancy.
- You can chill the cookies for half an hour in the fridge before baking, but this recipe uses a lot of pumpkin puree which won’t really allow the butter to get too runny in the oven.
- Bake in a 180°C oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
- Enjoy with a cold glass of mint milk.. Or regular milk will do just fine.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it yields just 6 to 8 cookies. You can go ahead and double it for a bigger crowd, but I often eat alone and I like to go easy on the dessert.. 😅
As for the very spooky photo shoot of this project, well.. There’s a whole other world to that. I wanted to build a dark spooky set to match the spirit of Halloween. I used glue to spin my very own DIY cobwebs; something I thought myself to do at a very young age (don’t ask). Thanks to my dear friend Ahmed for the glue gun idea! Much faster and better 🙂 I also used my sweet potato sprouts as background elements in the mint milk shot. It was a really happy coincidence, that I found a skull glass, to match the skull bottle that I got from Louli. My frozen mini-pumpkin, which I keep in the freezer from season to season to use as a prop and pumpkin seeds with and without the shell! The ones without the shell, I kept looking for for almost 2 weeks, until I managed to find one last bag in the back of the shelf in one of the supermarkets! Last but not least, shooting the candle smoke.. that should have come with a warning guys. So tricky and delicate and finicky to deal with. Took me at least 20 attempts to get a decent, usable shot.
Here’s some BTS for ya:
Happy Halloween 🦇 🎃 🦇