Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pumpkin cheesecake ice cream and pumpkin pillow cheesecake cookies

Pumpkin season may technically be over for us foodies, but I bet you still have a few cans of pumpkin in your cabinet. No?  Just me?

Well, you should definitely go pick up a can for these recipes because they are definitely worth it.

The pumpkin cheesecake ice cream is rich, but not too rich, and surprisingly smooth and creamy despite not having any egg yolks.  There's a small kick of lemon that is just enough to cut the sweetness from being too sweet.

The main event here, though, is the cookies.  They could best be described as little pillows of pumpkin cookie with cheesecake stuffed inside.  The cookies are definitely labor intensive, but the steps are relatively simple and easy.  However, don't let that stop you as everyone who has tasted them says they are the best cookie they have ever had.

I love the lighting on the edges of the top cookie.

Pumpkin cheesecake ice cream 
adapted from Desserts for Breakfast, who adapted it from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop

I like my cheesecake bit on the lemon-ier side and I'm not a fan of super aggressively spiced things, so I went light on the spices here.  Feel free to increase the spices to your preference.

Makes about 1 quart


7 oz cream cheese
3 oz (approximately 1/3 cup) pumpkin puree
zest of 1 lemon*
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice


Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill mixture thoroughly in the fridge, then freeze it in your ice cream maker of choice.

1. I didn't have lemon zest, so I used 3/16 teaspoon of lemon oil.  Lemon extract could be used, as well.
2. Or use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice to replace all the spices.

Not the best lighting, but one of the better pictures of the filling.

Pumpkin pillow cookies with cheesecake filling
adapted from Oatmeal Cookie and Libby's via VeryBestBaking

Many thanks to my baking buddy, Eliz, for recipe testing and help with the "stuffing" method.

These cookies taste just like pumpkin cheesecake!  Again, you can taste the spices, but they are mild.  If you find that you like things to taste more pumpkin-y, then definitely increase the spices.


4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cookie dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour  
1 teaspoon baking soda  
1 teaspoon baking powder  
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Add the filling ingredients to a small bowl and mix well.  Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. 

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Once dough is mixed, chill in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.

Just before you take the dough out of the fridge, preheat oven to 350° F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper (which is what I did). 

To form the cookies: Place 1 tablespoon of dough on the cookie sheet.  Make an indent in the middle and add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of filling. Place another tablespoon of dough on top.  Seal the edges as necessary and roll into balls.  Put the stuffed dough balls in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up.

Place the chilled dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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