Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

More baking! Yaaaay!!!

The Brown Eyed Baker is at it again and I am close behind her, eagerly following her trail of pumpkin cookie crumbs. To keep with the autumn theme I baked these delicious little morsels for a Halloween party that my landlady was having (and by landlady I mean my boyfriend's mother). They are a soft, cake-like cookie that are amazing on their own or when paired with the nutty and sugary icing in the recipe. Baking them was simple, but took me forever because I only had one baking pan and the recipe calls for them to cool on the baking tray for five minutes before being transferred to the cooling rack..... Yeesh! I didn't mind though and it took up an afternoon that, for me, held little else in terms of entertainment. 

Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown-Butter Icing

Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 12 to 15 minutes

For the Cookies:                                                                 For the Icing:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour                                                   4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder                                                 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda                                                      ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt                                                    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups light brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups canned pumpkin
¾ cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the pumpkin, half-and-half and vanilla. Beat until very well blended, about 2 minutes (the batter may look grainy at this point, but don’t worry, it will come together). Keep the mixer on low and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to give it a final mix, incorporating any flour on the sides and scraping the bottom of the bowl.

4. Use a large cookie scoop to scoop balls of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1½ inches between them. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes then remove them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

5. To make the icing: Add the powdered sugar to a heatproof bowl. Put the butter in a small saucepan over medium heet and let it start melting. Continue cooking, swirling occasionally, until the butter becomes golden brown and smells nutty (be paitent and watch carefully, it can go from brown to burnt quickly). Remove it from the heat and pour it over the powdered sugar, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the half-and-half and vanilla and stir until the icing is smooth. Using a small offset spatula, spread icing on each cookie. (If the icing stiffens before you get them all frosted, stir vigorously to lighten it up.)

And here are a few photos of my own baking process:

Hand-creamed butter thank you very much. I really need to get an electric mixer...

Just after adding the pumpkin/half-and-half. It looked exactly like the recipe said it would.

Smooth and creamy. Ready to bake!

Cookies! They were delicious straight out of the oven. Trust me. I tried a few...

This recipe went down even better than the pumpkin whoopie pies and, to be honest, I liked them more too. They were lighter and fluffier, but still full of spicy flavor. The icing was delicious (and not as difficult as the instructions make it sound), but I really liked them best plain and still slightly warm. They had a nice, soft middle and an outside that was firm and lightly browned. Perfect for a cool, fall night!

You can find the recipe here on the Brown Eyed Baker's blog, along with some tips and tricks. Try them out yourself on a free fall day, or perhaps as an alternative to Thanksgiving pumpkin pie? Maybe that's stretching it a bit.



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