Pumpkin Cookie Dough
Your grocer’s refrigerator case – hint: look near the Kozy Shack Pudding!**
$3.50-$3.99-ish/18 oz (apx 18 cookies-worth)
I had oral surgery last week. I’m not talking about your run of the mill, pansy-ass root canal, friends. This was some serious shit: several (as in, more than a couple) teeth were extracted (by my Chris O’Donnell look-alike periodontist, btw), leaving gaping sections of exposed, toothless gum where my molars once were. And so it will remain, my mouth (albeit it with a temporary, removable “appliance”), until the time that these spaces will be filled with implants and then beautiful, shiny, spanking new crowns.
Without going into the heartbreaking and excruciating details of it all, I will simply tell you the following:
1. Damn, it really sucked.
2. Shit, dental work is really expensive
3. Crap, I can eat only soft, mushy food. Again, crap.
With respect to point #3, I spent the first several post-surgery days (gasp) cookie-less. I enjoyed 2 kinds of pudding as well as a lovely custard (thank you mom!), in addition to applesauce and an array of pureed soups and vegetables. But alas, my poor mouth could not rise to the task of cookie mastication. Doctor’s orders…tragedy.
Until, that is, I realized only the most obvious thing: DOUGH. (Doh!)
Namely, this delightfully smooth, seasonally appropriate, nut-less and chip-less variety, available at New Seasons Market as well as Whole Foods, Fred Meyer, and various other grocery stores in Washington and Oregon. Look here for list of retailers.
I’ve been a longtime fan of the Cougar Mountain cookie dough. The boxed, already-baked ones are certainly decent (for a store-bought cookie and beat the shit out of a Keebler Soft ‘n’ Chewy), but the unbaked dough wins, hands down – for sure the closest thing to homemade you’ll find at the supermarket.
The carton says it makes 18 cookies, but I scoop ’em smaller and squeeze out a couple of dozen, easily. For the price and quality, they are brilliant. If you bring a plate of these to a potluck, freshly baked, everyone will assume you spent the afternoon in the kitchen.* Best of all, Cougar Mountain uses no partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, no artificial flavors, etc.; that is to say, there ain’t no junk in these “all natural” ingredients that you would not use in your very own cookies. (Unless you’re gross and bake with Crisco and Nucoa and crap like that.)
Other Cougar Mountain dough flavors
(FYI to those of you with full, working set of teeth and can handle the chunks and nuts: they’re all quite good):
- Original Chocolate Chunk
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk
- Oatmeal Raisin Cinnamon
- Seasonal Variety (that was the Pumpkin, but I’ve also seen Orange Cranberry, Molasses Ginger and “Ballpark”, which, as I remember, involves white chocolate (i.e., dealbreaker).
*For an extra touch of homemade panache, drizzle them with a brown butter, brown sugar icing and a subtle flourish of nice sea salt. This is a simple step, but will put the cookies OVER the edge and make you look like a freakin’ cookie genius. I’m not kidding.
Melt and brown 2 Tbs of butter in pan. (See here for butter browning instructions, if you are unclear about what this means. I promise it’s easy, but if you’re intimidated just use melted butter – it will still be very good.)
Add 1/3 cup or so of dark brown sugar, dissolve. Remove from heat.
Add some powdered sugar and a very small amount of milk (like a couple of Tbs) until desired (pourable) consistency.
Optional: add cinnamon or pumpkin pie spices
Drizzle as much or as little icing onto (at least mostly) cooled cookies.
Add salt either IN the icing or sprinkle some fleur de sel on top of the cookie, before the icing has set and dried. (Adjust amounts of powdered sugar and milk, as needed).
**Oregon and Washington, only. Sorry.