Wednesday, November 23, 2022

ChezCindy: Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Cookies


I love this season of holiday baking.  These past few weeks I have been working through my favorite pumpkin recipes and exploring a few new ones too.  Earlier this month I made my favorite pumpkin scones with brown butter glaze.  Which then reminded me of a cookie recipe in Rececca Firth's cookbook, The Cookie Book, for Brown Butter Pumpkin Cookies.   

As we lead up to Thanksgiving, making the traditional Libby's pumpkin role is a must-do.  And yes, I use their standard recipe, with maybe just a tweak to the cream cheese filling, adding a bit of ginger spice to the mix.  The Brown Butter Pumpkin Cookies from Ms. Firth's book, remind me of the pumpkin roll with similar flavor profile and texture.  Maybe a cross between the pumpkin roll and pumpkin whoopie pies.   

The cookie recipe takes a bit of planning ahead as the cookie dough requires chilling for 30-60 minutes to firm up before baking.  The cookies are worth the wait.  They are soft and pillowy, topped with a creamy spiced frosting.  Below is my take on Ms. Firth's recipe with a few changes.  Her cookbook is wonderful filled with many bake-worthy recipes.  

Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Cookies
8 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

chopped toasted pecans, optional for topping

Working over medium-high heat, place the butter into a heavy-bottomed saucepan to melt.  Continue heating the butter, stirring occasionally until the butter begins to brown.  This should take about 4-5 minutes.  Once browning begins, remove the pan from the heat, continue stirring as the butter will continue to brown even after off the heat.  It will smell wonderful.  Set aside to cool. 

Transfer the cooled brown butter to the bowl of a stand mixer, adding the oil, pumpkin, both sugars, vanilla and eggs.  Mix until thoroughly blended.   

In a separate medium size mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.  Whisk together to combine.  Add the dry flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, using a rubber spatula fold together until just combined.  Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, placing it in the refrigerator until the dough is firm, 30-60 minutes.  

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  

Once the dough is chilled, using a 2-tablespoon spring-loaded scooper, scoop out the cookie dough, forming it into balls.  Place each cookie ball onto the parchment lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.  Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 10-11 minutes.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven, allowing the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring each cookie to a cooling rack.  Continue baking the remaining cookies.


While the cookies cool, make the Cream Cheese Frosting:  

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2-3 tablespoons milk

Add the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and spices to a mixing bowl.  Using a mixer, mix together until smooth.  Add in 1 tablespoon of milk to thin, adding in more until creamy and spreadable.  

Once the cookies are cool, spread a generous portion of the frosting on top of each cookie.  Top with chopped toasted pecans if desired.  

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