brown butter pumpkin cookies
soft pumpkin sugar cookies with brown butter cream cheese frosting
baked in October 2019
yield: 38 cookies
prep time: 1 hour
cook time: 11 minutes
difficulty level: hard
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup granulated sugar + 2 Tablespoons (divided)
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon sour cream or greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, divided into 8 pieces
For the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy.
- Add the pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
- Gradually stir flour mixture into wet ingredients until dough comes together.
- Place remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar into a small bowl.
- Roll dough into balls about the size of a golfball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat process with more dough until you have 10 or so balls spaced at least 2 inches apart.
- Coat the bottom of a glass with cooking spray, dip in the sugar, and flatten each dough ball to about 1/2-inch thickness. Spray more cooking spray on the bottom of the glass between batches, if needed.
- Bake cookies for 7-9 minutes or until tops look mostly dry around the edges, yet still glossy in the center--no browning.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. As the butter melts, it'll start to foam, then turn a clear golden color.
- Continue to stir the butter, scraping up any browned specks from the bottom of the pan as it starts to brown. It should have a nutty aroma.
- Once browned, pour butter into a shallow bowl and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until it's solid and thoroughly chilled.
- Scrape the butter out into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat for about 1 minute until lightened up and creamy.
- Add the sour cream, vanilla, salt, and 2 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat for about 3 minutes until smooth.
- Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, mixing well after each addition to prevent any lumps.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar, and beat for about 2 minutes until fluffy.
- Spread frosting onto cooled cookies. Allow frosting to set (dry) before stacking or covering in plastic wrap.
- Total calories: 7,848
- Calories per cookie: 207