Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love when the leaves change color, and it starts to get cooler. I also love the baking that begins this time of year. Apples, pears, and especially pumpkin. This is the first of many recipes I plan on making this year. I wanted to make something for Halloween and these pumpkin cookies from The Joy of Baking looked delicious. These cookies are more like little cakes than cookies, light and fluffy. I changed some spices from the original recipe and reduced the sugar a bit. They are very flavorful, and the cream cheese icing is a nice balance with the cookies because it is not too sweet.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plus 2T light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
Cream Cheese Icing:
4 ounces room temperature cream cheese, regular of low fat
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 pure vanilla extract
Halloween sprinkles (optional)
Note: Instead of frosting the cookies, you could add to the batter 1 cup of chopped nuts or 1 cup of chocolate chips.
For the Cookies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Place small mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. I used a 3T cookie scoop. Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Place small dollops of the frosting on each cookie. Decorate with Halloween sprinkles if desired. Store uniced cookies at room temperature. Store iced cookies in the refrigerator.
For the icing: Beat the cream cheese and butter until combined. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla until the frosting is soft and creamy.
Makes about 20 cookies