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Thursday, 29 October 2020

Halloween Pumpkin Cookies

                      

These homemade spooky Pumpkin cookies are just perfect for your Halloween Party. Made using whole wheat flour and pumpkin puree, these cookies are vegan (egg-free and dairy-free) and flavored with spices like dry ginger and cardamom. These healthy Halloween pumpkin cookies are mildly sweet in taste with a hint of spices, and are soft and chewy. Have replaced refined sugar with jaggery making it a guilt-free affair. Involve your kids in baking these easy Halloween treats and making the spooky faces with pumpkin seeds for the added fun!


What is Halloween ?

Halloween or Hallow's eve or Witches Night is a holiday celebrated annually on the night of October 31. It originated in Ireland and is celebrated in quite a few countries including Ireland itself, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden among others. 

Halloween, traditionally called "All Hallows' Eve," is celebrated on the evening before the Christian holy day of All Hallows' Day or All Saints Day (November 1). Therefore, Halloween is always celebrated on October 31. 

The Celtic Tradition. The ancient Celts believed that on this day, the line between the living and the spiritual realm was blurred, meaning that ghosts from  beyond could visit the living and monsters could find their way into people's houses. Those celebrating aimed to ward off as much evil as possible. They held special rites to keep monsters, witches, and evil fairies at bay. They told tales about mythological heroes  and tried to protect themselves against evil by dressing up as monsters so they wouldn't be kidnapped or consumed by the actual monsters. Source

Now a days, Halloween is celebrated in a variety of fun ways and activities including, trick-or-treating, Ghost tours, Bonfires, Costume parties, craving Pumpkins (Jack-O'-Lanterns), reading, watching scary stories/movies etc. 


Pumpkins as an integral part of the Halloween festivities

People have been making Jack-O'-Lanterns by carving scary faces into Pumpkins at Halloween for centuries. They place these lanterns into windows or near doors to frighten away the evil spirits. To make the lanterns, the inside of the pumpkins was scooped out and thus roasting the pumpkin seeds and enjoying crispy salted pumpkin seeds as snack became another Halloween ritual. Pumpkin is a versatile fall fruit that is used in making soups, pies, cakes, cookies and other spiced desserts.


Related Event:
                                 

Spooky Halloween is the current theme for our Facebook gourmet group, Healthy Wealthy Cuisines, wherein a group of enthusiastic food bloggers share their culinary creations every fortnight, depending upon a pre-determined theme. Halloween is just a couple of days ahead and thus this theme is just apt and perfectly timed. The theme was suggested by Shalu di who blogs at Sunnyfamilykitchenette.com These spooky Halloween pumpkin cookies is my contribution towards the theme. Do check out the following contribution by my fellow bloggers on this theme.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin:

Pumpkin is a type of winter squash that belongs to the cucurbitaceae family. Pumpkin may be viewed as a vegetable but it is scientifically a fruit as it has seeds. It is not only delicious in taste but is also very nutritious. Let's have a look at the health benefits of including Pumpkin in our daily diet. Source
  • Pumpkin is high in vitamins and minerals but is low in calories. It is 94% water.
  • It is rich source of beta carotene, a carotenoid that body turns into Vitamin A.
  • Pumpkin is rich in Anti-Oxidants that may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • It is high in Vitamin A and C that helps to boost the body's immune system.
  • Pumpkin is low in calories and high in dietary fiber that may promote weight loss.
  • It is incredibly versatile and easy to include to one's diet.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes per batch
Serves: 15 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup ripe pumpkin pieces (peeled and diced, seeds discarded) 
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon melon seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
Method:
  1. Steam or cook the pumpkin pieces either in an oven or on stove top until tender. Allow them to cool down and then pulse them in a grinder jar without adding any water to get a smooth lump-free puree. I got 3/4 th cup pumpkin puree.

2.  Transfer the pumpkin puree, oil and jaggery powder to a mixing bowl and whisk until jaggery melts in the puree and the ingredients blend well with each other.


3. Sift the whole wheat flour, cardamom powder, dry ginger powder, baking powder and baking soda together. 


4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones gradually. Keep folding the flour with the pumpkin mix but do not over mix.


5. The mixture will be sticky. Gather it with greased fingers and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes so that it becomes a bit firm and easy to handle.


6. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 180 Degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Grease the baking tray or line it with an aluminium foil. Pinch out small portions from the dough with greased fingers and shape them as small balls. Flatten the balls and place them an inch apart on a baking tray.


7. Pinch the top portion of each flattened cookies dough to make the stem of the pumpkin face. Arrange the pumpkin seeds and melon seeds on each cookie dough to make the eyes, nose and mouth resembling a scary face as shown in the pic below. Press the seeds slightly so that they stick to the dough well and do not come out while baking the cookies.


8. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cookies to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cookies are done. Allow them to cool down on a wire rack. The cookies are soft but firm on baking and harden a bit after cooling. The cookies are soft and chewy.


9. The Halloween Pumpkin Cookies are ready to serve on cooling. Enjoy the healthy and delicious spooky treats with your loved ones. Store the remaining in an air-tight container. The cookies remain good at room temperature for a day or two in air-tight container. Refrigerate if you intend to store them for a longer time.

                         

Recipe Notes:
  • These cookies are not crunchy but are soft and chewy in texture.
  • You may make the cookies using whole wheat flour and all purpose flour in 1:1 ratio. I have used only whole wheat flour.
  • Jaggery powder can be replaced with powdered cane sugar or coconut sugar.
  • The cookies are moderately sweet with hints from the spice powders used. You may increase or decrease the amount of sweetener as per your taste preference.
Would Love to Hear From You !

 I hope you would love trying out these healthy and delicious Halloween Pumpkin Cookies. If you do give it a try, do share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the section below this post. 

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16 comments :

  1. These Pumpkin cookies are looking so healthy and delicious. Loving the idea of using seeds as facial features. Wonderful share!

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  2. Great recipe. Loved how you have made them perfect for Halloweens day with pepitas. Will definitely try it.

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  3. The pumpkin cookies look perfect for Halloween. I loved the texture and look, it looks perfect with those seeds embedded on them.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Lata. These pumpkin cookies with pumpkin seeds are just perfect fall treats.

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  4. Love these cookies Poonam and your creativity in creating those scary faces on them is amazing. Hope you had a good Halloween.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. Yes, we had a great festivity with family and friends .

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  5. Poonam, love how you've shaped the cookies to look like Halloween pumpkin. So cute and such a good way to get kids to enjoy pumpkin.

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  6. Wow, these pumpkin cookies really spooky! Love how you have artistically decorated them with seeds ! Brilliant!

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  7. Unfortunately seeing this post after the Halloween is over otherwise it could definitely be part of my Halloween stuff. Really spooky, these Cookies sound yum and can be tried at any time of the year, though in simple shapes now.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. These pumpkin cookies are very healthy amd you can make them anytime as a delicious snack.

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  8. This is such a cute recipe and perfect to bake with kids. I am bookmarking this to bake next year. So beautifully decorated.

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