Saturday, November 7, 2009

[Cookie 049] Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

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Happy late Halloween. Notice, no exclamation mark after that sentence. Nope, it doesn't get one. Halloween, for me, was thoroughly mediocre. Not to be a downer, but it rained--probably because I was dressed as a rain cloud--and I had a headache, and my knee hurt. Yeah yeah, bitch bitch bitch...it's just that I always have such high expectations for this holiday. But upon reflection throughout this first week of November, I realized that the main thing that made me love Halloween so much was all the fun I used to have trick-or-treating in my neighborhood back home. I trick-or-treated for a good 18 (or so) years of my life. Do the math. That's up until my senior year of high school.

Don't judge me. It's not like I went alone or anything!

Anyway, in the years since I have come to college, Halloween has been less than spectacular, and I think it's because of the lack of trick-or-treating. I mean seriously, screw the parade (especially when the cops won't let you watch it from the roof of an apartment!). And screw sub-par dance parties. I just want candy.

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Or these cookies. I could easily settle for a pillow-case full of these Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing in lieu of a bag full of SweetTarts and Tootsie Rolls (however, I'm not sure I would exchange them for a bag full of Reese's Peanut Butter cups...that's a decision that would take some serious thinking-over).

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But honestly, these cookies are great. And I made them into adorable little mummies (with the help of my friends, who are far better cookie decorators than me). I mean seriously, just look at them. Precious. Delicious. They're soft and puffy, and most importantly pumpkin-y! The icing is good too, but mine didn't come out tasting enough like browned butter, so maybe I should have browned the butter more. Either way, though, they're really yummy and perfect for Thanksgiving, since Halloween isn't for another 357 days.

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Psst! How much do you love our fabulous collection of cans?! Check out the ham!! Premium!

Also, they are dead easy, so you have no reason not to make them! They do require evaporated milk, which is something I've never used before, but it's used just like regular milk. I halved the recipe since I didn't want to use up all my flour, so I had half a can of pumpkin left over and half a can of evaporated milk--and used them to make Martha's Pumpkin Custard! Yeah! Vive la citrouille! (That's French for the word pumpkin, for you fancy folk.)

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So, in conclusion, next year I am going to go trick-or-treating as a 20 year old. And my friends and I figured out how to avoid angry glares from parents doling out candy to far cuter, younger kids in costume--dress up as ghosts with sheets obscuring our faces! GENIUS! I'll just have to walk on my knees, that's all. All in the name of sugar, though, so it's obviously worth it.

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Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
Makes about 6 dozen

Ingredients
  • 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)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • FOR THE ICING
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk,
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions
  1. Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
  3. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
  4. Make icing: Put confectioners' sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add butter to confectioners' sugar, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add 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. Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

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{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 3/5 (Just make sure you don't burn the butter for the icing!)
Ingredient Accessibility: 3/5 (Just the evaporated milk, but you can find that at any supermarket)
Tastiness: 4/5
Attractiveness: 3.5/5 (Googly eyes help...a lot)
Is it worth it?: Yep!

{Pairings}
Drink: Spiced apple cider!
Song: My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion -- The Flaming Lips
Activity: Whipping up a few dozen cornucopia a la Martha S. for your Thanksgiving feast...KIDDING! Even I have to draw the line somewhere between cuteness and insanity.

13 comments:

screwdestiny said...

Haha, I stopped trick-or-treating when I was 12. That was my last year, and I wasn't even that excited about it then. I guess the candy just isn't that important to me since I know I'm an adult now and can buy however much candy I want (that is, when I'm not being completely broke...). I just really like the dressing up part. It's quite fun to get to be someone/something else for a night.

Oh, your cookies are adorable.

jfklds said...

ahhh little mummies they are soooo adorable and they look so delicious. oh man oh man man man. wish i coulda seen your rain cloud costume. i was 'string man' which is a character that didn't exist until I created him. you would have appreciated him.
my halloween kinda sucked too

DothNotWisdomCryOut said...

I have made this recipe many times and ADORE it. However, the first time I made them it occurred to me that the batter was so soft it was pretty much cake or cupcake batter, so I usually just bake it as cupcakes with some cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Sometimes I throw in a couple chocolate chips to make my boyfriend happy :)

I love pumpkin, and this recipe is great for cookies, cake, cupcake etc

Nicole (Cooking After Five) said...

I made these last week -- they were a hit at my husband's office. Of course, anything with brown butter can't be bad.

Barbara said...

I'll buy you Reese's if you make me these.

Taylor said...

um these are absolutely adorable. i miss trick or treating as well. i can't stand the idea of you not having fun on halloween. It's my favorite holiday so I feel its very important that everyone have a spectacular time. We're going to start a fund so you can come to California next year. This is where its at.

cookeaze said...

Delectable and different. So very impressive and would love to prepare and taste it very soon..

emvan said...

I just found your blog by looking up a cookie recipe of Martha Stewart's. =) I love what you're doing here. Inspired by the Julie & Julia movie perhaps? I want to do it too with a Vietnamese cookbook.

These cookies look soo good. =) Your pumpkin cookies look so cute. =)

.Vana

Taylor said...

PS: I missed the premium ham can the first time around. It looks pretty premium

Taylor said...

reading back a few entries, I was looking at how you were talking about opening a bake shop. Anne and I have talked about this more than once, because I like to eat sweets but I like cooking better than baking, and she likes decorating better than either, so we thought we should TEAM UP to create one SUPER RESTAURANT where I can cook, you bake, and anne decorates and arranges! I love this idea but it means I'd have to go to cooking school because I'm not sure what I eat would be well received by everyone in the world. More than once my meals have been rejected at work. But I think that might be just because tempeh is a flavor not everyone likes? I like it. I like it. Too many comments.

Kim said...

How creative to decorate them as mummies. They sound delicious!

Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore said...

I just made these as little mini muffins (didn't change a thing, except the baking time) and they were a HIT - people loved the brown butter icing.

Thank you so much for reviewing this!!!

Anonymous said...

They look like terrorists

but delicious

but dangerous