December 26, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Cookies with Maple Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

These cakey little treats have all the flavors of pumpkin pie in a single-serve cookie. The brown butter cream cheese icing is good enough to eat all by itself. You can either make sandwich cookies, with the icing in between 2 cookies, or simply top them with the icing. Of course, you can always eat them plain, but if you are like me and feel guilty for eating frosting by the spoonful, these are a perfect vehicle for any frosting addiction.

Yield: about 3 to 4 dozen single cookies or 2 dozen sandwich cookies, depending on size

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin - note: this is equal to one 14 or 15 oz can, but I roast and puree my own
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk or cream (I used cream)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  2 3/4 cups gluten-free flour mix
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz (1/2 package) cream cheese
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp gluten free maple flavor

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk or cream, and vanilla and mix until well blended, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed . Add gluten-free flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and mix until combined.
You can either use a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip or use a 1 to 1.5 inch ice cream scoop to form cookies. Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds or drop with ice cream scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12-15 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
Filling/Frosting: Put cream cheese in bowl (you can either use a stand mixer or a hand mixer). Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add butter to cream cheese, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan, and mix until well combined. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until combined, then add maple syrup, vanilla and maple flavor and mix until fluffy and smooth. If the frosting is not thick enough, add more powdered sugar till you get your desired consistency. Just remember that as the butter cools, it will return to a solid state so you may want to wait a bit before adding more sugar.

For sandwich cookies, spread about 1 tablespoon of icing onto the bottom of one cookie and top it with another cookie, bottom side down. For iced cookies, just top each cookie with about a teaspoon of icing (or if you are me, about 1/4 cup). Enjoy!

More to come with Love!!

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