Ingredients: Per 4 servings
- ⅝ lb Italian "00" flour or all-purpose flour
- 2 oz potato starch
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¼ lb pumpkin
- 4 ½ oz butter
- 4 ½ oz sugar
- 1 package baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ginger, fresh (or powdered)
- 1 pinch vanilla, in powder
- confectioners sugar to taste
- unsweetened cocoa powder to taste
Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and bake in a 350°F oven until soft and easily poked with a fork. Remove from the oven, let cool and then scrape the flesh from the skin. Transfer the pumpkin to a blender and puree.
Equally divide the pureed pumpkin into two bowls. To one bowl, add the ginger and to the other the vanilla. Divide the remaining ingredients (excluding the powdered sugar and cocoa powder) in half. Add one half to the pumpkin with ginger and the other half to the bowl of pumpkin and vanilla.
Cover the bowls with a dishtowel and let rest for 20 minutes.
Then roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is around ¾ of an inch thick. Cut the dough into your favorite shapes, using a knife or cookie cutters.
Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a 300°F for 30 minutes. Once the cookies are done, remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.
Once cool, dust the vanilla cookies with cocoa powder and the ginger cookies with powdered sugar.
Although the pumpkin has become one of most famous symbols of Halloween, its association with the holiday is a fairly recent phenomenon. The association derives from an 18th century Irish legend that involves kohlrabi instead of a pumpkin. The kohlrabi was the vegetable that was actually used to light the road in the legend of the Jack-o-Lantern.
According to the legend, on the night of Halloween, the devil appeared before a drunk Irish blacksmith named Stingy Jack to take him to hell with him. Jack told the devil that he would go with him only if the devil would turn himself into coins so that Jack could have one last drink. As soon as the money appeared, the blacksmith put it in his pocket where he was also holding a silver cross that protected him from the devil’s powers. The devil told Jack that he would leave him alone for ten years in order to escape from the difficult situation.
Ten years later, however, the devil appeared again, but Jack was able to trick him a second time. The blacksmith asked the devil, as his last wish, to pick an apple from the highest branch of a tree. As soon as the devil made it to the top of the tree, Jack placed a cross on the tree, making it impossible for the devil to climb down. This time, however, the clever blacksmith made the devil promise never to try to bring him to hell again. From that day forth, Jack was able to live in peace, knowing that he would never end up in hell.
When he died, Jack was not allowed to enter heaven because of his sins and had to present himself at the gates of hell. The devil refused his entrance due to their deal and threw a burning ember at him. Then Jack went into a field of kohlrabi, picked one up and hollowed it out. He placed the burning ember in side to create a lantern. From then on, according to the legend, Jack went traveled around limbo, between life and death, with his lantern, awaiting Judgment Day.
Therefore in Ireland, there is a tradition to hollow out kohlrabi and place a candle inside on the night of Halloween. This tradition was brought to the US by the Irish emigrants after the famine of 1847, however, they decided to substitute pumpkins for kohlrabi because they were easier to find and larger in size. The tradition continued to spread and nowadays the American tradition of carving pumpkins is even more widespread than it is in Ireland.
Other suggested recipes
This dish is part of our special Halloween menu: