It’s that time of year when we start savaging our pumpkins and scraping out the innards. Seeds and everything else end up in the bin. This year in the interest of being more aware of waste – especially food waste – why don’t you you get to grips with your halloween blighter and make the effort more worthwhile!
Spiced Pumpkin Cookies
Soft, chewy and sweet, these cookies are topped with a cheesecake cream laced with warming spices.
Preparation time: 30 mins (plus 2 hours chilling in the fridge)
Cooking time: 25 mins
For the cookies
110g soft brown sugar
80g caster sugar
60g soft butter
85g mashed cooked pumpkin or tinned pumpkin purée
1 medium egg
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
100g pumpkin seeds
For the filling
75g cream cheese
1 tbsp icing sugar
75g double cream
1 medium egg
1 tsp mixed spice
To make the cookies, mix the sugars and the butter together in a bowl. Stir in the pumpkin and egg. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin seeds, and mix to form a dough.
Weigh out the dough in 70g pieces and roll them into balls. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment and chill in the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, gas 4. Take each dough ball and press your thumbs into the centre to create a little cup big enough to hold about a tablespoon of filling.
To make the filling, mix the cream cheese and icing sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the double cream, egg and mixed spice and whisk until smooth.
Spoon the filling into the cookie cups and bake for 20-25 mins or until lightly browned at the edges. Leave to cool on the baking tray.
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
These are great snack to have with drinks and, best of all, they make delicious use of the pumpkins seeds that are typically discarded from pumpkins when carved.
Preparation time: 15 mins (plus drying time)
Cooking time: 20 mins
Seeds from one pumpkin
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp salt
Scoop the seeds from your raw pumpkin and put them in a colander. Wash under the cold tap, scraping off the stringy pith. Leave the seeds to dry.
Heat the oven to 190°C, 170°C fan, gas 5. Put the pumpkin seeds in a bowl and add the oil, spices, salt and sugar.
Spread the coated seeds out on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins or until golden brown. If the seeds start popping before they’re ready, sit another baking tray on top.
Tip the seeds onto a plate to cool before munching.