Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
Although I declared my less-than-enthusiastic nature towards the Halloween holiday, I am still in gung-ho mode for everything and anything pumpkin. The bonus to baking with a ton of pumpkin this time of year? Any leftover that gets moved into the refrigerator can be stirred into oatmeal, applesauce, yogurt, ice cream… you name it, and you just created a pumpkin version of xyz. I have been meaning to make pumpkin cookies for well over a month and they kept getting put on the back burner. I had them on my list of things to make for this week, but didn’t have a specific recipe picked out when I noticed these on foodgawker. I have always been a big fan of Tracey’s blog (she makes amazing things!) and I loved that these were just a tad bit different, foregoing the traditional cream cheese frosting that is usually paired with pumpkin goodies, and using a brown butter icing instead. I’m so glad that I stepped outside of the proverbial box, because this is a fantastic combination!
These cookies actually have more of a cake-list consistency than a cookie – they are light, fluffy, and the definition of moist. The are packed with pumpkin flavor and perfectly spiced.
And then that icing. Oh sweet icing. This was my first time working with browned butter, and I couldn’t believe how much more pop of flavor there was. The resulting icing is faintly reminiscent of caramel, but not that sweet. It’s just amazing. And it’s a perfect complement to the pumpkin cookies; the flavors bounce off of each other in great balance. These will definitely be dessert for many nights to come!
Two years ago: Egg Bagels
Pumpkin Cookies with Brown-Butter Icing
For the Cookies:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
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
For the Icing:
4 cups powdered sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half
2 teaspoons 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.)
Note #1: You can substitute evaporated milk for the half-and-half in both the cookies and the icing.
Note #2: If you don't have a cookie scoop, transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitting with a plain tip (or use a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe 1½-inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheet.