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How to adapt recipe--plain shortbread to pumpkin shortbread?

I was thinking to try out pumpkin shortbread cookies around Thanksgiving time. I have a recipe that I usually use for shortbread cookies. Is there an easy way to change that up to get pumpkin shortbread? I'm thinking I would need to add pumpkin puree, but how much? And would I have to adjust the other ingredients? I'd really like to use my usual recipe as the base since that has always worked for me in the past.

My usual recipe is 1/2 cup sweet butter, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, baked at 300 for about 15 minutes.

As a side note, does anyone think pumpkin shortbread cookies would taste good dipped in white chocolate?

Thanks so much for any help!

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  1. Pumpkin would add a lot of moisture and I don't think they would be like normal shortbread, probably more cakey.

    1. Never made them myself but these recipes look promising.





      Some use a lot of pumpkin and some don't. So maybe bake two of the recipes and see which you prefer.

      I'm sure white chocolate would be fine except I'm not a huge fan of it. Just dip 1/3-1/2

      1. Water is the enemy of any shortbread (gluten development and the ability to fry instead of steam), so I would use ghee instead of straight butter, vanilla powder instead of vanilla extract, and dehydrate the pumpkin as much as possible before adding by roasting fresh sugar pumpkin in a very low oven (200 degrees), or cooking down pumpkin puree over very low heat in a skillet or in an open vessel in the oven (also at 200 degrees), to drive off the water, and then cooling before adding to your batter. Start by adding 1/4 cup of the finished pumpkin product to your original recipe and adjust from there. Also, a little salt really makes a shortbread "pop." Add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to your preference (or none at all).

        1 Reply
        1. re: PommeDeGuerre

          That sounds really good, especially with the salt! I might go the easier route or just using spices first, then try this version since it's more involved. Thank you!

        2. I'd add toasted pumpkin seeds to the dough and create a pumpkin icing to dip the baked shortbread.

          I'm not a big fan of white chocolate but lots of people dip their baked shortbread in dark chocolate so white would work.

          1. Do want the pumpkin flavor, or the pumpkin spice flavor?

            It is easy to add the spice without affecting texture. But pumpkin puree is wet - and the only wet thing in your recipe is 20% of the butter. With clarified butter you might get by with a bit of pumpkin puree, but I doubt if you could use enough to taste.

            1 Reply
            1. re: paulj

              Seems like the commenter below thought the same thing. I think the spice thing might do the trick without having to mess with the puree. Worth trying out for sure. Thank you!

            2. I might experiment with pumpkin powder, which is dehydrated and pulverized pumpkin. It can be used reconstituted with water OR as the powder alone. I'd probably start by adding a 1/4 C. (or less) of the powder to the regular shortbread recipe; maybe sub for some of the flour, but I'd likely play it by ear. Adding "pumpkin pie" spices might help in addition to the pumpkin powder (e.g., cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg), if you are going for that sort of all-over pumpkin-spice combo. Pumpkin (or most squash) alone actually doesn't have a lot of flavor, so personally, I would boost the cookie with some of the traditional spices.

              You could also try adding a tablespoon of the pumpkin powder to a simple icing for dipping the cookies (like a basic royal icing). Again, I'd probably boost the taste with at least some cinnamon, nutmeg.

              One pumpkin powder source: http://www.amazon.com/Barry-Farm-Pump...

              1 Reply
              1. re: team_cake

                I like this idea a lot, thank you!

              2. Thanks so much everyone for the ideas, and recipe links, and tips. People are always so knowledgeable on this site. I think I'll try using some pumpkin spices first and see how that goes before doing a version with puree. Maybe I'll hold off on the white chocolate too. I like the pumpkin icing idea, maybe will try that. Thank you so much!!