Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

20121121-183513.jpg First of all, I am so sorry that it took me so long to write a new post! Secondly, forgive me for not being a good blogger and posting an easy, healthy recipe after all of that food on Thursday. But I assure you, once you make these, you will see the reason why I needed to post these. The cookies themselves are moist and slightly crisp on the outside, while the flavor is warm and slightly spicy, with that fabulous pumpkin flavor.

20121125-162933.jpgThen you make the icing. And I mean, THE icing. Like, the only icing I should have ever made in my life. Like, this stuff will convert you into a brown butter lover like nothing else will. Seriously, good stuff. Anyways, it’s rich, nutty, and it melts in your mouth. That’s all I can say.

20121215-232142.jpgAnd then, you combine the two, and wow. It’s almost literally the icing on the cake. The Romeo to Juliet. The peanut butter to jelly. Ok I’ll stop, but you get the picture. The textures, the flavors, they meld perfectly into one amazing cookie. Aaaand, as if that weren’t enough, they’re pretty quick and easy! Just mix, scoop, bake, and spread! Hello holiday baking! I can’t stop using exclamation points!

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Adapted From Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

For Cookies:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs,
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin purée
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Icing:

4 cups powdered sugar
10 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp half-and-half
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

To make cookies:
Heat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, whisk together first 8 ingredients; set aside.

In bowl of mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs until combined. Reduce speed to low; add the pumpkin, half-and-half and vanilla. Beat until well blended, about 2 min. Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Scoop 2 tbsp of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 5 min. Remove cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

To make icing:
Add powdered sugar to medium bowl. Melt butter in small saucepan over high heat. Continue cooking, swirling pan occasionally, until the butter becomes golden brown and smells nutty (watch carefully). Remove from heat and add to powdered sugar. Add half-and-half and vanilla, stir until smooth. Spread icing on cookies (Stir icing to restore fluidity).

Yield: 24 cookies

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

20121017-225121.jpgThe crisp fall air embraces me with a chill, as the colorful leaves fall all around me blown by the lively autumn winds. I stop, taking in the moment of pure seasonal beauty. As my hair is tossed to and fro with reckless abandon while I head back to my home, I can smell something…just a whiff of something wonderful. As I enter the house, the smell has gotten clearer; warm, spicy, sweet, buttery and…pumpkin. Pumpkin will always be a part of my heart in the fall.

20121017-225804.jpgI come into the kitchen, the smell
now taking over my senses and warming me to the bone, and I see pumpkin muffins, with so much streusel they can barely hold it all. I pick one up, and take that first bite. Aside from the spiced, moist, pumpkin and the crunchy, buttery streusel I find a very pleasant surprise: a creamy vanilla-scented cream cheese center, perfectly balancing out the soft pumpkin flavor with its bright tanginess.

20121017-230345.jpgThese muffins are the epitome of fall comfort food. I can think of no better way to spend a fall afternoon than baking these and sharing them with loved ones, seeing their utter delight as you make their day.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Recipe from The Brown Eyed Baker

For Cream Cheese Filling:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For Streusel:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp butter, melted

For the Muffins:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
5 oz (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For Cream Cheese Filling: In medium bowl, combine filling ingredients, stir until smooth. Form the mixture into a 12-inch log on a piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and freeze two hours.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin papers or spray with cooking spray; set aside.

Make Pecan Streusel: In medium bowl, use a fork to combine streusel ingredients; set aside.

Whisk together first 7 ingredients in large bowl; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
Pour pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir together just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Divide cream cheese mixture into 12 pieces.

Scoop a small amount of batter (1 1/2 tbsp) into the muffin cups. Place 1 slice of cream cheese in center of batter; fill with remaining batter.
Sprinkle the streusel on top of each muffin. Press streusel lightly into batter.

Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Yield: 12 muffins

Pumpkin Scones

20120929-212553.jpgToday’s recipe is one of my favorite foods; pumpkin scones. With two glazes. You get to double dip! Now I have tried the kind at Starbucks and lets just say I wasn’t impressed. But when I made these, it’s like the texture of a moist doughnut with the flavor of warm pumpkin spices was made into a scone, and then mercilessly topped with nutty browned butter glaze.

20120929-213119.jpg I really can’t describe how good these are. It’s like the world of scones was taken to greater heights! I have truly been thinking of this thing all year, and waiting until fall to make them again. Which is saying a lot, as I don’t normally make the same recipe twice. Now, go make these, and enjoy the warm flavors of fall.

Pumpkin Scones with Brown Butter Glaze

For the Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tbsp half and half
1 large egg

For the Brown Butter Glaze:

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious; set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

To make the brown butter glaze, melt butter over high heat. When butter starts to foam up, stir until light brown. Take off heat, pour into bowl and cool. Combine butter with powdered sugar. Dip scones into glaze; let set. Dip a second time. Whisk spices into remaining glaze. Pour into plastic bag, snip off end and pipe glaze in zig-zag pattern over scones.

Yield: 12 scones

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker