By Kevin Williams
A small produce stand sits across the Great Miami River from my Rust Belt midwestern hometown. The place is called Peggy Produce which sells seasonal produce, baked goods, and other stuff for the “city folk” across the river. Whenever I pass the place I’ve been intrigued by their sign outside which advertises “Amish Baked Goods.” Eventually curiosity got the best of me and I stopped in to check them out.
Most of the baked goods are made by a place in New Lebanon, Ohio called “Touch of Amish Too” by a woman named Lydia Duane. New Lebanon, Ohio has a large Brethren population, but no Amish. I am not sure whether Lydia has an Amish background, Brethren roots or whether she just likes Amish-style cooking and baking. I am not being critical in the least, just pointing out that I don’t know her background (there is a larger philosophical question of when something is “Amish” or not, or for that matter anything else….If I decide to open a Chinese restaurant, can I call it “Chinese food” even though my last name is Williams and I have no connection to the culture? Probably still can. Not sure, what do you think? Again, not being critical of Lydia at all, I don’t know anything about her)
I picked up some pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting at the produce stand and these were made by Lydia. I have to say that these were delicious…full of flavor, pumpkin and spices all topped with a thick cream cheese frosting. Yum. Yum. Yum.
I went into my archives and I do have a recipe for pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting that comes from an Amish woman in Parke County, Indiana. Here is the recipe. And if anyone knows anything about Lydia, let me know, otherwise I’ll try
Serves: 2 dozen
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup butter
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Lightly grease baking sheets.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger together in a bowl.
- Beat 1 cup butter, white sugar, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and egg in a separate large bowl, beating until mixture is smooth.
- Beat in pumpkin puree.
- Gradually stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture.
- Spoon batter by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cookies are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- Beat cream cheese, ¼ cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl until soft and creamy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, about ½ cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and spreadable. Frost cooled cookies with cream cheese frosting.