For the recent holidays, I developed a couple new cookie recipes: Frosted Einkorn Pumpkin Spice Cookies and Grain-Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies. This recipe for Frosted Einkorn Pumpkin Spice Cookies bakes up into moist, cakey cookies. The cream cheese frosting recipe has just enough sugar to be sweet without being overpowering. When topped with cream cheese frosting, each cookie is like a miniature pumpkin cake. Yum!
Why Einkorn? My family switched to Einkorn wheat flour over 5 years ago. Einkorn is an ancient variety of wheat that has never been hybridized; as such it is naturally lower in gluten and higher in protein than modern wheat. Some people who have sensitivities to gluten in modern wheat can actually consume Einkorn with no problems. Because Einkorn all-purpose flour still contains some of the bran and germ, it also has a superior nutrient profile compared to modern white flour, even though it does not have added vitamins like conventional flour does.
This recipe isn't totally made from real foods, since it does contain some sugar. Nonetheless, it is certainly healthier than a conventional recipe made with white flour, sugar, and vegetable oil. Rather than aiming for dietary perfection as I did for years (and ending up stressed and overworked), I am at the place in our real food journey where we are finding balance and a diet that we can maintain for the long-term. I consider these cookies to be more of an occasional treat rather than a part of our everyday fare.
Einkorn Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes ~30 cookies
2 cups Einkorn all-purpose flour
1 Tb aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp finely-ground celtic sea salt
2 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature (preferably nutrient-dense butter)
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 eggs, preferably from pastured hens
1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a medium bowl, combine the Einkorn flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Whisk it all together to break up any lumps.
In another bowl (or stand-mixer), beat the softened butter, sucanat, and sugar together for a couple minutes, until well mixed and slightly lighter in color.
Once the butter, sucanat, and sugar have become lighter in color, mix in the eggs and pumpkin puree. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to get everything incorporated well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix just until everything is combined. Do not overmix this recipe, since there is gluten in the Einkorn flour and overmixing gluten results in tough baked goods.
Scoop the cookies onto greased cookie sheets (or line the cookie sheets with exopats, which are wonderful since the cookies never stick and are less likely to burn). I like to use a 1-Tb scoop for consistently pretty cookies, but you could just use a spoon. Do NOT flatten the cookies, as they will spread out on their own while baking.
Bake the cookies at 350 F for about 15-18 minutes. They are done when the edges are golden brown. If you have to cook subsequent batches on an already-warmed cookie sheet, start checking them for done-ness a couple minutes earlier.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes. Then use a spatula to move them to a cooling rack.
Allow to cool completely before frosting. Unfrosted cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days; frosted cookies need to be stored in the fridge.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature (preferably nutrient-dense butter)
4 ounces of brick-type cream cheese, at room temperature
1&1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla.
Add the powdered sugar and beat it all together.