An office holiday bake-off requires many things: nerves of steel, buying a presentable pan to cart cookies to work and a sure-fire recipe. Recalling my expletive peppered, off key “ohmygodohmygodthesearesogood” sonata singing when I tried the Sprinkles pumpkin cupcake, I figured the only winning recipe-route was to recreate the moist, pumpkiny goodness in a cookie. Cake-like and full of flavor, these pumpkin cookies are remarkably easy to make. Adapting a recipe from Food Network will get you a basic cookie recipe with a cup of pumpkin, a hefty dash of spice and lots of yummy noises from serious work-type people who don’t usually make yummy noises.
Forgive the dark pictures, the Christmas tree lighting wasn’t soft and romantic but rather gloomy and a bit gray. But only in photos – in real life it’s gorgeous.
Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cookies:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch ground cloves
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
For the frosting:
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Zest of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, cream the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and eggs. Mix to incorporate. Add the pumpkin and mix to incorporate. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool on racks. When cool, ice with the cream cheese frosting.
For the Frosting: In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, add the cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. If frosting is too thick, thin with a little more milk. Fold in the lemon zest. When cookies are cool spread with some of the frosting. Garnish with a whole pecan.
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