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It’s time for pumpkin: Cookies with brown butter frosting

It’s fall, so let the festive baking begin.
Pumpkin cookies with frosting
Pumpkin cookies with frosting [ MICHELLE STARK | Times ]
Published Sep. 29, 2020

If you’ve been on the internet recently, you have probably been inundated with pumpkin recipes.

Well, here’s one more.

It’s a tradition here in the Sunshine State: Baking with seasonal ingredients is one of the ways Floridians convince themselves it’s fall.

Since it officially is the season of PSLs and light sweaters now, I couldn’t resist making a pumpkin-y dessert this week.

Unlike some of the other things manufacturers try to jam the seasonal flavors into, bright orange pumpkin puree and fall spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger) are naturals in baked goods. Pumpkin in particular (I always use canned, though make sure it’s plain with no added sugar) can add a creamy element and a fun color without being too overbearing, taste-wise.

These cookies are a cross between cake and cookie, soft and pillowy and a lovely orange color. I don’t always love a cakey cookie — I prefer some, like chocolate chip, to be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. But sometimes, it works.

These cookies are paired with a brown butter frosting, a thick buttercream that gets slathered on after the cookies have cooled. I went ahead and smooshed two together and made cookie sandwiches, which is where the softness of the cookie really comes in handy. It’s a luscious bite.

I have not yet bought bags of Halloween candy, but when I do, I may try crushing up some Snickers or other chocolatey candy and rolling the edges of the sandwich in it, using the frosting as a glue.

Seems like a delightful way to ring in October, a seasonal comfort in these weird times.

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

For the cookies:

1 ½ cups butter, softened

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 large eggs, room temperature

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

⅔ cup butter, cubed

4 cups confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 to 5 tablespoons 2 percent milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin and egg. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Heat 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Transfer to a large bowl. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired spreading consistency. Spread over cookies, or spread over one then top that with another cookie to make a sandwich.

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home