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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Sweet Pumpkin Italian Christmas Cookies

These quintessential Italian favorites usually contain ricotta cheese in leiu of pumpkin, but I think this substitution is perfect for the Holidays. These cookie "puffs" can be decorated by any ideas you and a little helper can come up with. A perfect recipe to get the kids involved in cooking. 


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Colored decorating sugar
  • Rainbow sprinkles

Sweet Pumpkin Italian Christmas Cookies Directions

    In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger, mixing well and set aside.
    In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs and lemon zest, continuing to beat until smooth again. Add flour mixture, reduce speed to low on mixer, and beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. 
    When ready, preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator and pinch off roughly a 3-tablespoon measure piece of dough. Roll it between the palms of your hands and place on an ungreased cookie pan. If it sticks to your hands. lightly wet your palms. Repeat until remaining dough is used, leaving 2 inches between each dough ball. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until cookies bounce back when touched.
    Remove from oven to cool slightly before transferring to a platter or rack to cool completely. In the meantime, prepare icing. 
    Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Spoon equal amounts of icing over the top of each cookies and sprinkle either decorating sugar, rainbow sprinkles or both over the top before serving.
     Makes about 24 cookies