I’m a Michigander, born and raised. For about a year, I had a client located in Columbus, Ohio that required frequent trips to that city. As anyone located anywhere near a Big Ten state would know, Michigan and Ohio don’t mix all that easily and visiting Columbus, home of Ohio State University, was a trip into the lion’s den for many of my co-workers. This shouldn’t be that big a deal for me – I attended a small liberal arts college on the west side of Michigan – no where near the mighty, mighty Wolverines but it’s the principle of the thing.
But I digress…
One of the very delightful things we discovered about Columbus was that it was a very good city for eating. Many wonderful restaurants, from dives to fine dining – all just calling out for our expense reports to include their receipt. Just as fine were the treats: in particular Jeni’s Ice Cream (Brown Butter Almond Brickle, anyone?), SugarDaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties for brownies and the reason for today’s post: a lovely little bakery in the Short North neighborhood called Piece of Cake. Piece of Cake has many wonderful offerings but my absolutely passion are their iced pumpkin cookies. Soft, caky domes of spicy pumpkin goodness, all covered in sweet icing. I’ve been known to buy a half dozen – you know, to share with the kids when I get home – but somehow manage to devour them before hitting the state line. (no small feat: these bad boys are as big as your hand!) I no longer work on the Columbus account so no more regular trips south. Jeni’s ice cream is now sold in my local fancy grocer – check. SugarDaddy’s ships, check and check. Piece of Cake? Nope: no local outlet for those wonderful cookies.
What I do have is desire, a can of pumpkin and that shiny, shiny new red KitchenAid mixer. I found a likely recipe over at All Recipes and decided to give it a go. Butter, sugar, lots of spices, flour and of course, pumpkin. All went into the mixer in the prescribed order and I soon had a lovely bowl of pleasantly aromatic dough. I plopped it on the cookie sheets in little blobs, popped them in the oven and hoped for the best. 15 minutes later, I had oddly shaped little pumpkin cakes. Golden brown on top but unfortunately a bit overdone on the bottom. (Note to self: time to invest in some decent cookie sheets. How many times will I need to see cookies with burnt bottoms before I learn?) Sadly, one panful was lost when I filled the cookie sheet with dough, turned to grab a potholder and managed to hit the sheet with my elbow, neatly flipping it face down (of course) on the floor. We have two cats, two longer-haired dogs and two teenagers. No 5 second rule in these parts!
At any rate, I made a batch of simple icing, slathered it on and tried a cookie. The verdict? A teeny bit drier than desired but the icing helped that. There was the unfortunate burned bits – got to research decent pans to fix that – and they were admittedly not very pretty but they were still quite yummy. The kids seemed to like them. I’ll definitely give this recipe another shot.