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Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

November 30, 2010

Today’s featured cookie is one I have never tried before, but I must admit I am now a convert!  It was incredibly flavorful and the frosting alone would keep me coming back.  I was a little worried I might have a pumpkin hangover post Thanksgiving, but thankfully I survived and these cookies were just the right amount of pumpkin flavor.  They are definitely a little more on the cakey side and the added crunch of the walnut provides the perfect contrasting texture.  I would highly recommend giving these a try!

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting
Yields: 4 Dozen

— Cookie —
2 1/2 cup All purpose flour
1 tablespoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
4 tablespoon Unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/2 cup Light brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 large Eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup Pumpkin puree
2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 cup Walnuts (chopped, plus halves for garnish)
— Frosting —
2 cup Confectioners sugar
3 tablespoon Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
3 tablespoon Unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until evenly combined. Add the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla, and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the walnuts.
4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. The batter will seem extremely soft compared with most cookies, but it will firm up during baking. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 10-12 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cook completely.
5. To make the frosting: Place the sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the butter until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add to the other ingredients, and beat until smooth and creamy. Cover until ready to use.
6. When the cookies are completely cool, spread a generous amount of frosting on each cookie, and top with a walnut half. Let the icing set before stacking the cookies or they will stick together.

Kate’s Tips:

I used fresh pumpkin puree rather than canned for this recipe.  I’ve discovered that fresh tends to be a little “wetter” than canned so I might suggest draining your fresh puree first to eliminate any extra liquid.

My frosting was much thinner than I was expecting and it dripped off the cookie.  I would recommend placing a piece of wax paper under the wire rack to catch any drips as you frost the cookies.  I tried adding additional powder sugar to create a thicker consistency and it was still fairly runny; using skim milk probably did not help.  The frosting hardened in about 5-10 minutes once it was on the cookie though and it tastes incredible!

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