Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

These soft cookies are like mini pumpkin cakes -- and you're guaranteed to get a bit of sugary, brown-butter-flecked icing in every bite.

  • Yield: Makes about 6 dozen
Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2004


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons 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)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a large coupler and a 1/2-inch plain round (such as Ateco #806); set aside.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside. Cream 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter and the brown sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, 3/4 evaporated milk, and 1 teaspoon 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. 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. Put confectioners' sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Melt remaining 10 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

  5. Immediately add butter to confectioners' sugar, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add remaining 5 tablespoons evaporated milk and remaining 2 teaspoons 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.

Cook's Notes

Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.


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