Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why I Love Fall

I used to think that Summer was my favorite season. And maybe for a while, it was. After all, my birthday is in the Summer, and there was no school, and then there were trips to the beach! Yes, Summer is pretty great. But as I got older, I began to appreciate the beauty that is Autumn. The cooler nights, the changing of the leaves, warm colors and cozy sweaters, and of course the pumpkins! Pumpkins, in all their orange glory, make me smile. They make the season for me. And baking with it marks the start of the holidays. 

Let's be real, I live in Central Texas and I have yet to break out any kind of sweater, but it's my fantasy and I can dream, right? It's still in the 80's here and while I may still be wearing t-shirts and flip flops, I am drinking pumpkin spice lattes, wishing for the crunch of brittle leaves underfoot, and visiting the pumpkin patch. We took Hayden to the pumpkin patch last year, when he was just weeks old and he wasn't too thrilled, but this year he had a great time touching and patting all the gourds around him. We made it home with three mini pumpkins, one for each of my boys, and took a few family photos while we were there. Can you tell I was excited to be there?! 

Hayden likes to roll his pumpkin around the house and every now and again I'll catch him putting it in the back of his dump truck and pushing it through the kitchen. So cute, that boy! He loved these cookies too. I gave him a few without the icing and he just devoured them. In fact, while I was taking pictures of them, he kept grabbing them. Those hands get him in trouble sometimes! On their own, they are very much like pumpkin muffins, but with the brown butter icing, they are something special. They're spicy and sweet and have a nuttiness to them thanks to the browned butter. They're also soft and cake-like, unlike most cookies which makes them the perfect accompaniment to tea or coffee. I almost placed some of the icing in between two cookies and sandwiched them together like a whoopie pie. Oh that would have been a treat!

I received a package of butter in the mail a couple weeks ago. I love when that happens! The folks from Twisted Butter sent me an array of their new jazzed up butters. The blends include premium grade AA salted butter, canola oil, honey, fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and bacon. Yes, bacon! The Bacon, Dijon Mustard & Chive butter was one of my favorites while my mom couldn't get enough of the Blueberry, Honey & Lemon Zest. I decided to use the Cinnamon, Honey & Brown Sugar butter in these cookies to make them extra special and it was a success. Visit the Twisted Butter website for more "infused" flavors and to print a coupon to use on your next purchase. Thank you Twisted Butter for allowing me to sample your product!

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

For the Cookies: 
  • 6 Tablespoons Twisted Butter Cinnamon, Honey & Brown Sugar, at room temperature (unsalted butter may be used in place of the Twisted Butter)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (7 oz) canned pumpkin puree
  • 6 Tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the Icing: 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons evaporated milk, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the cookies:  In a large bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the egg, then reduce the speed to low and add the pumpkin, milk and vanilla. Mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. 

Slowly add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Mix until combined. 

Transfer half the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip. Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing the cookies 1 inch apart. (A small ice cream scoop may be used if you don't have a pastry bag). 

Bake cookies for 12 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking process. 

Cool the cookies on the sheets on the parchment for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks. Allow them to cool completely for icing them. 

For the icing: Put the sifted powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, cooking and swirling the pot occasionally until the butter turns a golden brown, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to let the butter burn. 

Immediately, add the butter to the sugar, scraping any brown bits from the sides and bottom of the pot. Add the milk and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add a teaspoon more of the evaporated milk at a time, as needed if the icing gets too stiff to spread.

Spread about 1 teaspoon of icing onto the tops of each cookie using the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Allow icing to set before serving. 

Store cookies in single layers, in an airtight container. 

Makes about 3 dozen

NOTE: I was not compensated by Twisted Butter in any way. The opinion I express here, is mine alone. I was simply sent a sampling of product and I chose to blog about it.


Anonymous said...

Love the recipe, My Hubbs and only Child (girl) are fall babies, one end of October and baby girl first week of November, I adore Fall in all its glory, had a halloween birthday party once for our daughter she was in heaven..When I think of seasons, I love May, my birthday end of May, summer is wonderful here in the pacific northwest the sun decides to shine and blue skies..but fall is my all time favorite, one has to wear warm clothes, and coats, hats and mittens..Love this recipe I am going to make it as soon as I can and take it to some ladies who are only in their nineties, think they will enjoy the soft cookie texture and the frosting too..Hayden looks so so so cute, what a living doll of a son, that hair, those eyes, oh, my.Happy Turkey day coming up and enjoy your sweet little helper what a cuttee pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Patti Patti said...

Hi, Monica, first of all let me say that your baby is fantastic! Than I will surely try those cookies (you know it's so difficult to let the children eat something green or orange, so that the best way to taste some pumpkin). Greetings from Italy, Pattipa

Unknown said...

The cinnamon, honey and brown sugar twisted butter has me intrigued. :) And these pumpkin cookies look really good. I made similar ones in the beginning of October (I can't believe October has already come and gone!) and they were very very tasty!

Hayden is so cute :) The way you describe him makes him seem like he gets into a lot of mischief, but he's still adorable and funny nonetheless :)

Ula said...

nice blog :)

Anonymous said...

Looks like a pumpkin version of those Lofthouse cookies. can't wait to try!

Melody said...

Could that boy get any cuter? Thanks for sharing all your goodies.

Mrs. Un-Handy said...

Yum! I'm going to make these because I LOVE all things pumpkin ;)

I love your newest family picture. It's been to long coming! I can't believe how big he's getting! What a sweet boy!

P.S. we had to get 4 pumpkins this year too, per Lily. One for her and Katherine, and one for each of her brothers.

Keeley said...

As always, the Hayden photos are adorable!

Summer is still my favorite season. In Delaware autumn quickly goes from pleasantly warm (70s) to frosty and possibly snowy (this week). By the time you put out the Halloween candy you're often looking for a down coat. The leaves a beautiful... until a late season hurricane knocks them all off the trees and you realize the trees are naked until next April. Of course, I say all of this with a smile... it is nice having four seasons. I'm not a big fan of cold weather, but I can't deny that winter fashion is the best... tall boots, wool coats and all kinds of funky hats!

Unknown said...

Brown butter icing sounds soooo good! And I love your family picture--adorable! :)

Unknown said...

These look delicious!! Made me think of Autumn/Fall in detail. If you want to check out my new photography blog starting with Autumn follow this link,

Let me know what you think :)

RSA Online Now said...

That's really cute Monica, you have a wonderful family. I'm starting to like fall too.

Sarah said...

yum!!! I'm making these for thanksgiving! can you put them on pinetrest? I didn't see them on your board? And where do you get the butter? I looked on their site, with no luck. thanks!

Monica H said...

Hi Jo,

I don't have a ounterest accout, so I cannot pin them. Sorry!

And the website says "find in your local dairy case" or something like that. If you can't find it, just use regular undated butter. There won't be much difference in flavor. The icing is what makes these awesome.

Monica h

Donna said...

Giving "Thanks" advance for this must-make Autumn/Thanksgiving pumpkin marvel!!..

These would be delish beyond in ice-cream sandwich format with a cinnamon-tinged homemade vanilla bean ice cream...Recent discoverer of your exquisite are all MasterChef.

Thank you for the generous sharing of your culinary wisdom!!

Anonymous said...

I've made this recipe twice using unsalted butter, and each time they turned out FANTASTIC! A new favorite. Next time, I might replace the frosting with homemade brown-sugar ice cream for some autumnal ice cream sandwiches. Thanks for the great recipe!!

Unknown said...

These look AMAZING! I favorited this recipe and cannot wait to make them! The frosting looks so incredible :)


Anonymous said...

I made these tonight and OH MY GOODNESS! They are sooo yummy! I may make them into whoopie pies next time. Thanks so much for the recipe!

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