September 28, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Penuche Icing



When Autumn comes around, despite the desert heat that still persists, I start craving all things pumpkin - pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and these pumpkin spice cookies.  Their texture is somewhere between a cake and a cookie - just cakey enough but you can still hold it in your hand.  They are truly a Fall cookie as they are spicy but not so spicy that their flavor crosses the line with Christmas gingerbread.  This soft cookie with a lovely butterscotch icing is just right make before the holiday season.

I enjoyed these cookies with tea and sweet memories of leaves falling and crisp Autumn air, and a lovely re-read of the Hobbit.

Pumpkin Spice Drops with Penuche Icing
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment or grease.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in medium bowl.
Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended.
Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
Add flour mixture gradually and mix until well combined.
Use 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop or drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until edges are firm.
Using a glass flatten cookies gently as soon as they come out of the oven. These cookies are rise while baking and flattening allows for a nice layer of icing.
Move to wire racks to cool completely.
Frost with Penuche Glaze.

Penuche Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

4 tablespoons, 1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup light cream or evaporated milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or 1 teaspoon rum

In a double boiler over simmering water stir until smooth butter, brown sugar, salt and cream.
Remove from heat and beat in powdered sugar and vanilla or rum until icing is smooth and spreadable.
Ice cookies by spooning a tablespoon of icing in the middle of each cookie and spreading slightly.  The icing will run over the edges if spread too close to the edges.


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