Spiced Pumpkin Cookies + Brown Butter Icing

November 21, 2010

It was either the wearing of my mother’s vintage skirt, or a recent visit to Lovejoy Bakers that inspired the revamping of my favorite edible holiday memory; Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting.

This was one of the first cookies that I learned (er, that my mother allowed me to bake after that incident with overdose of baking soda….) and so it was convenient that they were also my favorite ones to eat.

The old recipe uses shortening, which has officially been banned from my kitchen, and using the old recipe just doesn’t work when you substitute butter in. We used to use walnuts and raisins, and a simple confectioner’s icing with a bit of brown sugar. Good, but not over the top. And these cookies deserve to be just as delicious and amazing as I remember them to be. No, this recipe needed to be completely reworked.

I was reminded of this worthwhile project when paying a visit to our neighborhood (and my favorite bakery, Lovejoy. As I set up my computer to do a bit of work in their airy, light filled bakery – inspiring foodie quotes adorning the walls and fabulous scents filling my impromptu desk area, I spotted them in the bakery case. The cookies that long ago stole my heart. Only these were different – spicier, richer, and so much bigger than my mother ever allowed me to make them!


I set to work. It took quite a few late nights in the kitchen, surrounded by half raw pumpkin blobs but I think I have actually done it. Improved – somehow – on the unmatched original. These might be the best cookies I have ever made, if I do say so myself.

Thanks Mom. 🙂 – xo L

Spiced Pumpkin Cookies w/Brown Butter Icing
  1. 1 stick unsalted butter
  2. 3/4 c brown sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  6. 2 cups unbleached wheat flour or whole grain pastry flour
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  10. 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
  11. 1 cup zante currants
  1. 1 stick unsalted butter
  2. 1 cup powdered sugar
  3. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 cup cream
  1. Using an ice cream scoop or a big spoon, scoop and roll the cookie dough into balls and place evenly spaced onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges of the cookies are just barely brown.
  2. Pull from the oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes on the baking pan before transferring to a cooling rack.
  3. To prepare the icing, brown the butter in a small saucepan then add the browned butter with a few of the solids to the powdered sugar, cream and vanilla. Whisk whisk whisk to incorporate (as the butter will not immediately emulsify into frosting.) Dip the completely cooled cookies into the still-warm frosting and allow the frosting to set completely. Serve. Savor. Enjoy.
LentineAlexis http://LentineAlexis.com/

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