Friday, September 12, 2014

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing


So since it's fall (or at least I'm acting like it is), let's continue with all things fall-like (you can catch the first installment of this series here) and talk about food. Because one of the best ways to add some fall to your home is with baking, right? The smells and the taste of fall should be in our homes just as much as the look, am I not right? So food...cookies, to be precise. There are some favorite flavors that go along with fall, which include one of my favorite: pumpkin. And when you combine pumpkin with (another one of my favorites) brown butter, you, my friend, have an unstoppable combination.


Yes, I made those (yesterday). And yes, they're really good (and almost gone). Think super moist cake, like the kind that sticks a little bit to your fingers when you pick it up because it's so deliciously moist, and then add a carmel-y tasting glaze of sorts to the top. Yes, my friends, these cookies are delicious. And you should totally make them this weekend. You will be breakin' in this fall season like a champ and you'll, no doubt, be #1 in somebody's book.


So, here we go...let's break it down. First I sifted all my dry ingredients together. And little side note here: one time when I was growing up, my Mom thought it'd be fun to add a "secret ingredient" to her normally awesome-tasting chocolate chip cookies. Any guesses as to what that ingredient was? Hint: it goes along with this time of year...nutmeg. Yeah, I'm not quite sure what Trudy was thinking because to this day, I can't stand the taste of nutmeg. And it almost ruined chocolate chip cookies for me. Okay...fine, that could never happen. But yeah, nutmeg!?! So in pretty much all recipes I omit nutmeg altogether, but feel free to throw it in this one...you just won't see me using the stuff!


Then I creamed my butter, sugar, eggs, etc. I added some yogurt to the mix for some added moisture. 


I made these guys on the larger side, because that's how we roll. I flattened them out a bit on top with the back of a spoon.


They turned out like this. Perfect for slathering icing on top.




The icing...oh the icing! Butter takes on a whole new flavor when you brown it...it has a caramel taste to it that's amazing. So this icing recipe is pretty much the same as a traditional butter icing recipe (as far as ingredients go), with the exception of browning the butter. I added some vanilla to mine, but you probably wouldn't have to, since the butter has its own amazing flavor that really stands out.



Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (if you so desire)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree

Brown Butter Icing
4 cups powdered sugar
10 Tbsp salted butter, diced into 1" pieces
Half and half, as needed

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt, set aside. In the bowl an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and set on medium speed, whip together butter, light-brown sugar and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until combine. Mix in sour cream (or yogurt) and vanilla extract, then mix in pumpkin puree. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients and mix until combined (be sure to scrape down bowl throughout entire mixing process).
  • Scoop out cookie dough with cookie scoop, spacing cookies at least 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated oven about 12 minutes until tops spring back when touched. Allow to cool several minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely then prepare icing and spread icing over cookies. Store in an airtight container (I layered mine in the container by using parchment paper in between the layers, to prevent the icing from sticking to the other cookies).
  • Browned Butter Icing
  • Measure 4 cups of powdered sugar into a mixing bowl, set aside. Brown butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until you see brown bits in it (or I just do the smell-test. You can tell when butter has browned; it has a distinct nutty smell to it). Carefully pour browned butter over powdered sugar in mixing bowl, use a rubber spatula to scrape any excess butter and browned bits from pan. Add half and half and mix on medium speed in a stand mixer until smooth. Spread over cookies, adding additional half and half, about 1-2 tsp at a time, to icing mixture to thin as it will thicken as it sits.


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