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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pumpkin Ginger Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

I made these cookies when I didn't have enough brown sugar to make my mom's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Except the recipe I went off of was halved (that's why I had enough brown sugar). Boy am I glad I made these!! These cookies are so moist and flavorful you won't want to put them down! I'm changing the name of these cookies from “Pumpkin Cookies” to “Pumpkin Ginger Cookies.” I just think it describes them better.
On Martha Stewart's site, she says, “These pillowy spice cookies transform pumpkin pie flavors into portable treats.” Besides the cheese-factor, it's kind of true. These cookies have evaporated milk in them, just like pumpkin pie. I don't think they taste just like pumpkin pie though. They're better. And my favorite part of the cookie is the browned butter icing! I've never heard of it before, and I've never “browned” butter either...but it wasn't hard and it definitely added dimension to the cookies.
Don't be intimidated by the long directions. These cookies aren't hard to make, and they're so delicious!

Cookie Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp nutmeg (I didn't have nutmeg so I substituted cloves and it was so good!)
3/4 cup butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin (14 oz.)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla

Icing Ingredients:
4 cups powdered sugar
10 tbsp butter (1 1/4 sticks)
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375°. Cream butter and brown sugar in an electric mixer until pale and puffy, about three minutes (I don't think I did this long enough). Mix in eggs. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk and vanilla; mix until well blended, about two minutes. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

[Now this is where Martha Stewart gets all “Martha Stewart” on us. She tells us we have to put the batter into a pastry bag and pipe them onto the cookie sheets. Puh-lease! None of that uppity baking for me! So here are MY directions.] Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and using 1/4 measuring cup, spoon batter onto cookie sheets (she says 1 1/2 inches round, but I say just on the smaller side). Bake cookies two pans at a time, rotating sheets halfway through, for about 12 minutes until the top springs back to the touch.

[This is again a “Martha Stewart” moment when she says to let the cookies cool completely before making the frosting. I say what's better than warm cookies?!] So while cookies are baking, make icing: Put powdered sugar in a bowl. Set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swirl pan occasionally, and cook until golden brown, about three minutes. Immediately add butter to powdered sugar, scraping any browned bits from the sides and bottom of the pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla, stir until smooth (I did it in my KitchenAid). If icing gets too stiff, add a little evaporated milk.

When cookies have cooled slightly, peel them off the parchment paper (mine stuck a little). Spread icing on cookies (this icing is very flavorful, so a little goes a long way!). If you want to add a nice touch, sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Let us know how you like them! Enjoy!

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