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Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

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

  • Yield: Makes about 6 dozen

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2004

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS10759099
    11 NOV, 2016
    I'm making these now and the ingredients say 1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 T) which is what is used for the cookies. Then the frosting says to melt the remaining 10 tablespoons of butter. Are there 22 tablespoons of butter for the entire recipe or is there a lesser amount used for the cookies and frosting?
    Reply
  • kali.stanland
    19 OCT, 2015
    Fantastic recipe. (especially for those that like sweet) The first time I made it, I found it too sweet. But that's my opinion as I do not like things that sweet. So this time...I added only 1.5 cups of raw sugar and a tablespoon of molasses instead of the brown sugar. I also only added 1 tsp of salt. And something extra to add more ymminess...Dark Chocolate chips. And because I LOVE fresh ginger and pumpkin, I added a little extra pumpkin and candied ginger instead of ground ginger. :)
    Reply
  • annaetroygma
    18 OCT, 2015
    Made this yesterday and it was a big hit. The cookies are delicious and fluffy - almost like a moon pie. My frosting came out nice and thick (although I could have used more!) and I sprinkled some Halloween sprinkles to really maximize the Halloween spirit! I thought at first the cookies needed more time, but they were springy to the touch, so don't worry if they don't brown too much!
    Reply
  • Mamma Louise
    4 APR, 2015
    I forgot to add the canned milk and they turned out great, not flat, more cake like and easy to ice. They were a big hit!
    Reply
  • lct72
    21 DEC, 2014
    Made the recipe as is and they came out great. The cookies were not quite pancake flat but they are flatter than what I was expecting. I halved the icing which worked perfectly for the number of cookies I had (59 - many were eaten before they were iced they are that good!). They look better with the icing but I don't think the icing does anything spectacular for them - I may try adding cinnamon or something next time. These cookies are mini pumpkin cakes! Yum!
    Reply
  • Melissa_T
    2 DEC, 2014
    These came out wonderful! My 3-yr-old loved them. I did not pipe the cookie batter as instructed, but used a cookie scoop to scoop round cookie batter onto the cookie sheets and they turned out fine. My icing was the same consistency as the photos and I had barely enough for the cookies I made. I will definitely make these again! A yummy pumpkin cookie!
    Reply
  • Sondra Baker
    8 FEB, 2014
    I made these and they turned out absolutely wonderful! ....but when it came to the frosting, well, it turned out more like a glaze. It was still delicious but I was really hoping to get the pretty and fluffy icing that's in the pictures! Any help?
    Reply
  • tanacoleman1990
    28 OCT, 2013
    I made the cookies the other day and brought it to my women group and they were a HUGE hit. This will be my go to choice for cookies this season.
    Reply
  • kmsullivan90
    13 OCT, 2013
    Delicious. You only need to make about half of the icing , and you will still probably have extra. This is a keeper.
    Reply
  • megant620
    28 SEP, 2013
    These cookies were incredibly moist and full of pumpkin flavor. Each one was like a mini cake. They were a big hit and I am excited to make them again!
    Reply