Saturday, October 12, 2013

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

Last week, my lovely sister Catherine paid us a visit. It was wonderful to see her and spend some quality time one-on-one with her without the distraction of silly things like husbands and boyfriends. We had a grand old time sipping coffee, picking apples, watching movies, and spending all night soothing wailing children back to sleep....which led to even more coffee drinking. Catherine made the delightful comment at 1:00 AM when Emma woke up for the third time (followed shortly by Matthew): "Monica, I love your kids...but they sure don't sleep very long."
My favorite little pumpkin. She might not sleep much, but I sure don't mind having her around!

Catherine and I made a of couple delicious treats while she was in town. She insisted that we make something with pumpkin to bring back to share with her fiancĂ© since he and his family are obsessed with everything pumpkin. Apparently, a pumpkin roll always makes a star appearance at family gatherings - even during the summertime. 

Our reasons for baking this cookie recipe were twofold: 
  1. We wanted cookies - more specifically, we wanted cookies adorned with FROSTING.
  2. Catherine has a tendency to turn what should be a recipe for gooey, chewy, delicious cookies into a DIY project for hockey pucks. We needed to correct this.

Catherine did an excellent job getting the dough mixed together and insisted that all her baking woes stem from her lack of kitchen equipment, namely a stand mixer. Watching her almost throw the egg shells into the cookie batter made me doubt her claim.

Some tweaks were made to the original recipe, especially to the frosting. More powdered sugar was added to thicken it up to a spreadable consistency. A small amount of salt was thrown to round out the flavors. In one batch, I added some maple flavoring instead of vanilla extract just because pumpkin and maple go together like apples and pie.

The result? We loved these cookies. They really do melt in your mouth. Without the frosting, I thought the cookies themselves were a little on the bland side. However, add that frosting and they become something special. After sitting in an airtight container for 24 hours so the flavors can mingle, they become ethereal. Do not let the pumpkin season pass without making these. This might be another non-traditional addition to our Christmas cookie platter this year.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies
adapted from Better Homes and Garden

For the Cookies:
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Generous Pinch of Salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
3-4 cups powdered sugar

To Make the Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the 2 cups of butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add granulated sugar, baking powder,baking soda, salt, the 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Beat until combined. Beat in the eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla until combined. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture will look a bit curdle - but have no fear! Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer (about 1 cup at a time). Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon.

Drop dough by tablespoons onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, being sure to space them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

To Make the Frosting:

In a small saucepan, heat the 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and salt. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cookies. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired for a pretty finish.

1 comment:

  1. These were so good! My fiancé wanted me to make them for his office and now they all love me. They now want me to bake then apple pie.