Appalachia Appalachian Food

Candy Roaster Cookies

Candy roaster cookies

I’ve been waiting 20+ years to make these cookies. Sounds crazy uh? Well let me explain.

In the early 90s I had an amazing Appalachian Studies class in college. As part of the course each student had to do some sort of project related to Appalachia and present it to the class. With Paul’s help, I did mine on The Louvin Brothers. I remember one guy did his on the Cherokee Indians and as you can imagine more than one person did their project on the traditional foods of Appalachia.

Candy roaster cookies taste like a mouth full of fall

 

One girl handed out recipes during her presentation. I don’t remember her name nor what she looked like nor even what the rest of her project was about, but apparently she impressed me in some way because I’ve kept her recipes all these years…even though I never actually made them.

Her recipe states:

This is a family recipe that came from my Great Aunt Bess Shannon. She served us youngs these punkin cookies ever Halloween when we went trick or treatin at her house.”

Miss Cindy found me a monstrous candy roaster at a local market and when I was putting it up I thought I’d like to make something sweet with some of it. I thumbed through my recipe book and found Aunt Bess’s Punkin Cookies and decided to give them a try.

Aunt Bess’s Punkin Cookies

  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked punkin (Candy Roaster!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans but want to use black walnuts!)
  • 2 1/2 cup self rising flour

Old timey pumpkin cookies

 

Now that I’ve explained where the recipe came from I bet you’re wondering why I’m calling the recipe a Candy Roaster Cookie when she clearly states it is a Pumpkin (punkin) cookie.

I’ll tell you the honest truth I’ve become a candy roaster snob. After tasting my first candy roaster in years last fall, I’ve decided my taste buds would rather have a candy roaster any day of the week over a pumpkin. I’m even going to make my Thanksgiving pumpkin pies out of candy roaster and never tell a soul-well except for you.

Best cookies for fall

 

Back to the cookies:

Cream shortening and sugar; add eggs one at a time and mix well after each.

Add candy roaster or pumpkin, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon-mix well.

Add raisins and nuts mix well.

Add flour and mix until combined. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. The cookies spread as they cook so keep that in mind. I used a tablespoon to drop my cookies and ended up with cookies on the large side.

 

These cookies are so good, every bite is like a taste of fall. I might have kept the recipe for 20 years before using it, but I’ve already made the cookies 3 times since the first time. They are just that good.

And while I’ve admitted I’m a candy roaster snob, I do think these cookies would be good with pumpkin too.

Tipper

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Penny
    September 30, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    http://aptn.ca/news/2015/09/28/winnipeg-students-grow-rare-squash-from-seeds-800-years-old/ Could this ba a candy roaster?

  • Reply
    Tipper
    September 24, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Janet-thank you for the comment! I bet sweet potatoes would work! Let us know if you try the recipe with them : ) Have a great evening!
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    September 24, 2015 at 8:13 am

    I’m a little late in posting, but I had never heard of candy roasters either. I think I might try this recipe, but without the raisins. I’m not a great fan of raisins. I wonder – could you substitute cooked sweet potatoes for the pumpkin? I know sweet potato pie tastes a lot like pumpkin pie and it would have the same consistency.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    September 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Granny Sue-go here for more info about Candy Roasters-Hope you are well!!https://blindpigandtheacorn.com/blind_pig_the_acorn/2014/10/a-craving-for-candy-roasters.html
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    September 21, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    These sound wonderful, not just to taste but also for the aroma that must waft through the house while they’re baking too.
    Gonna have to try ’em.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    September 21, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    You just covered one of my Appalachian favorites–candy roaster. It goes by a different name in my neck of the woods. Delicious!
    I decided to plant candy roasters, but I really goofed, as I had too many different types of squash too close together. I really also wanted spaghetti squash, as I am trying to use this as a healthy substitute for pasta. Anyway, my garden just wasn’t big enough to prevent cross pollination so everything crossed. I even have a strange shaped pumpkin, but never planted one. The blessing is I seem to have loads of different shaped squash with spaghetti squash inside. Now, I am torn, as I must choose between spaghetti squash and candy roasters next year. Both need a wide area, and not close to other members of the squash family.
    I have already ordered candy roaster seeds, and a good thing because the picture of your delicious looking cookies is going to cause a big run on getting the seeds and roasters.
    Thanks to my Appalachian habit of sharing I gave my cousin some plants I grew and he was able to grow the candy roasters, and then he shared. I cooked the pulp and divided into 3 flat packages for freezing. Guess I’ll be cooking Candy Roaster pies for Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Quinn
    September 21, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I sure would like to try growing some candy roasters next year – never heard of them before they came up here on Blind Pig last year, but if there’s a seed source I’m putting them on my 2016 garden list!

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    September 21, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    What in the world is a candy roaster??? Never heard of it before! The cookies look downright edible though.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    September 21, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    OK Tipper: I know I lived a ‘remote’ life in the Matheson Cove and learning was kind of accidental! BUT I have no idea what yuns are talking about a CANDY ROASTER! So sorry!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Tipper
    September 21, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Ed-I say try it with peaches! Make sure they are well drained if you use a can of them. If you try it let us know how it turns out : )
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 21, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Tipper and B. Ruth–I too would like to know the results if you substitute persimmon pulp for candy roaster meat. If you try it, you might want to back off a bit on the sugar. Persimmons have a lot more sugar than candy roasters, hence the name hunter’s sometimes use for the former, “nature’s candy.”
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Tamela
    September 21, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    – – – so, where do you suppose I can find “candy roasters” in Central Texas? – – perhaps some seeds for next year? They sound too good not to give them a try!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    As I have admitted before I have an unnatural aversion to most yellow foods. The recipe looks like it would be good and I would like to try it. Could you recommend anything without sweet yellow flesh that could be substituted for the candy roaster?
    PS: Strangely I don’t have a problem with peaches but whoever heard of peach cookies.

  • Reply
    Karen Twiss
    September 21, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Tipper…my mom always said candy roasters made better pumpkin pies than pumpkin…and that is what she used. A friend of mine recently had a bunch of candy roasters for sale…she took them to Murphy to sell at the flea market and said no one knew what a candy roaster was.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    September 21, 2015 at 11:54 am

    These cookies look and sound delicious. I think the candy roaster would be good in muffins, bars, cakes ,and pies too. Thank you for the recipe.
    Pam
    scrap-n-sewgranny.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    September 21, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Carol-I didn’t count but would guess about 30 to 40 cookies. Of course depending on the size of the cookies : )
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    September 21, 2015 at 11:34 am

    B.Ruth- I bake my candy roaster to harvest the meat from it instead of boiling or steaming-I guess that’s why it looks on the drier side. The batter isn’t as thick as a typical cookie dough I guess that’s why the cookies spread. Please let us know if you try Persimmon in the recipe : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    September 21, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Jim-I freeze mine too!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Ken
    September 21, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Tipper,
    Those Candy Roaster Cookies look
    like something I would enjoy, I sure like all the ingredients.
    (Especially with Black Walnut
    pieces.) …Ken

  • Reply
    dolores
    September 21, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I am currently growing candy roasters and I have my very first one in the veggie bin. I think I have another use instead of just plain. Tipper, you got me finding those seeds and they are producing. Yummy!

  • Reply
    Patsy
    September 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I’m sorry to say I wouldn’t know a candy roaster if I saw one but I might try this recipe with some Libby’s!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 21, 2015 at 8:59 am

    You and other Blind Piggers have flung a craving on me for candy roasters. I had never even heard of them until you posted about them. I have not yet found anyone here who knows about them either. But Frank Barnett of Georgetown, KY (an Appalachian native living in the Bluegrass) sends me a picture of an 11.4 pounder he grew. All hope is not yet lost though because Jaemor Farm Market at Lula, GA reportedly has them. Being as how punkin is one of my favorite pies, I am sure hoping to come up on a candy roaster soon. If I do I think I’ll save the seed and risk crowding my garden.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 21, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Tipper–After renewing my acquaintance with this wonderful type of winter squash last year, I raised a bunch this year (thanks to the generosity of Blind Pig readers with seeds and even in one case candy roasters) and like you plan to substitute them for pumpkin in Thanksgiving pies.
    I’m curious how you “put them up.” They keep wonderfully well if stored in a cool place, but I’ve opted to work them up and freeze the results.
    For anyone who is interested, I find the flesh slightly sweeter than that of pumpkins, and it is far less stringy.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 21, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Tipper,
    I just may have to make a trip and trod over to a NC Farmers market. No I know grows candy roasters around my neck of the woods.
    The one I grew last year had a more special taste than the pumpkins that I was used to, I like them too!
    Your prepared candy roaster in the cup looks somewhat dry. How did you prepare your roaster, bake, steam or boil with a tiny bit of water? If most of the liquid is out before you mix up the recipe, then I don’t understand them running in the pan during the baking process. Because there is very little actual liquid in the recipe…well, added eggs I guess.
    I wonder if anyone else noticed the flour addition was “self-rising”?
    Loved that…since I generally have it on hand more often! Like you, I would prefer black walnuts to pecans to give that earthy taste.
    Now then…My son’s persimmon tree is loaded this year. I was giving this fact a “thunk”! Just wondered if after the frost and they ripen, if one could use a cup of persimmon pulp…what a different candy roaster cookie that would be! I might give it a try…I am sorry but I tend to love all your recipes but think of some ingredient that I might have access to instead, since we didn’t grow any roasters this year!
    Thanks Tipper for the recipe! I have my hot coffee before me, and I can almost taste those fall spice cookies…ymmmmmm!

  • Reply
    Carol
    September 21, 2015 at 8:01 am

    About how many cookies do you get from one batch???

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 21, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Looks like I’m gonna have to learn the difference between a candy roaster and a pumpkin and all the other squash, kershaw, and edible gourd things. I’ve always thought they were pretty much the same. I would guess from the name that a candy roaster is sweeter than the others and that’s reason enough to prefer it.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 21, 2015 at 7:23 am

    These do look amazing. Here in Florida we have a pumpkin that has been dated back to the 1500’s by the french. If you email me your address I will send you some seeds. They have been shipped to France and Canada and other places around the world. They will grow un a tree and I bet they would love the soil in Brasstown. They grow here year round, but I imagine not in NC. The purpose of this ramble is these are the most delightful pumpkins I have ever eaten, make the best pies cookies, pancakes, soup I have ever tasted. I would love your reaction. I will also send you historical info on them too, they have a long history and are mis-called Seminole pumpkins, but have been here so much longer.

  • Reply
    Kelly Richey
    September 21, 2015 at 6:14 am

    I’m a candy roaster snob myself! I love it and I also replace pumpkin with candy roaster whenever possible! Thanks for the recipe, I plan on making a run today.

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