Hello everyone! I feel like I have been gone forever. We have had a terrible cold virus taking us out one at a time. First it was my daughter, then baby Alex got croup, then me and now my husband. Somehow, only Jack was spared, knock on wood.
This month, my friend Eva at Eva Bakes picked pumpkin and sweet potatoes as the theme for What’s Baking. I am so grateful for the support Eva has always given me and my blog. Us bakers stick together! So, if you get a chance, head over to Eva’s wonderful blog and check out her oh so fabulous looking desserts!
As I have said before, my husband is a super picky eater. But surprisingly, at least to me, he loves sweet potatoes. I have never baked with them before because I am not really a big fan. So, I decided to go with pumpkin instead, since we both like it. I made pumpkin bread a few weeks ago and it was delicious. But, I wanted to do something different. I came across these pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing and thought…pumpkin, spices, brown butter, frosting? Umm..yum!
The batter of these cookies is simple to put together, but then Martha recommends piping the dough onto a cookie sheet. Well, for 6 dozen cookies, that sounded like it would take forever. I thought the batter was definitely thick enough to use a cookie scoop for portioning. They may end up looking a bit nicer Martha’s way (doesn’t it always?), but I thought my way turned out just fine and was a heck of a lot faster. Although these are called cookies, they have a cake-like texture, more like a whoopie pie. If you have never made brown butter before, it’s really easy. You just melt butter in a pan until, you guessed it, it is brown. You just have to be careful to not go to far and have the bits turn black. Then, I’m sorry, you will have to start over. The addition of brown butter to the frosting, instead of the usual softened butter, gave it almost a butterscotch flavor that was crazy delicious! When I was done frosting the cookies, I let Jack and Sammie eat the last bit of frosting in the bowl while I cleaned up. All I could hear was Mmmm….Mmmmm and when I took the bowl away it was almost clean enough to put back in the cabinet. Sammie didn’t even want to taste the cookies because she hates pumpkin, she says. Yet, after some convincing, she ate two before I cut her off. Jack kept saying “These are so good mom”, baby Alex kept pointing to the container to ask for more, and all Justin could say was “Oh.My.God”. So, yeah, I think my family liked them okay.
Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
Yield: 6 dozen (I got 4 dozen)
For the cookies:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces) Almost a whole 15 oz can
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the butter and brown sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, ~3 minutes. Mix in eggs one at a time. Reduce the speed to low. Add the pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Mix until well blended, ~ 2 minutes. Note: The mixture will look curdled, don’t worry. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. It shouldn’t look curdled anymore.
Martha says: Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806) and pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart. I used a cookie scoop and it worked great. Bake the cookies, rotating sheets halfway through baking. When done, the tops should spring back, ~ 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
For the brown butter icing:
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk Save the remaining milk to thin the frosting out if it thickens too much while frosting all the cookies
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract I used vanilla bean paste….I love those specks!
Measure the confectioners’ sugar and put into a large bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the butter, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, ~ 3 minutes. Watch carefully, you want brown bits, not black. Immediately pour the browned butter into the bowl of confectioners’ sugar. Make sure to scrape any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Pour in the evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in more evaporated milk, a little at a time. Let sit for a few hours to set before packing up for storage. Make sure to place wax paper in between each layer to prevent sticking.
Source: Martha Stewart