Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

I know that my usual blog posts are pretty light on hot-button topics for heated discussions.  But all that's about to change, are you ready?

Candy corn.

It's a divisive issue.  You either love it or you hate it.  There is no in-between.  I've even heard people spread vicious lies about poor candy corn...rumors like "all the candy corn that exists was made in the 1930's".  I don't think that's even possible. 

I used to fall squarely into the "hate" camp.  Back when I was a kid my relationship with food was very different.  I let things outside the realm of the actually TASTE of the food affect my opinion on it.  Things such as the name.  

"Candy corn."  That's not a great name.  It's a hard sell.  You're mixing two concepts that shouldn't really mix.  I thought it would taste like corn.  As I often am, I was oh so wrong.

Now, I'd rank candy corn probably right at the top of my personal list of favorite seasonal confections.  It's up there with Reese's easter eggs (scientifically perfect ratio of chocolate:peanut butter that no other Reese's variety quite capture), and girl scout cookies (those few sacred weeks when they're for sale is a season in my book).

So obviously, when I whipped up these scrumptious little cookies with that delectable icing, I figured what could possibly make these any better/more Halloween-y?  

Candy corn.

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Icing
(adapted from Martha Stewart)


2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla


4 cups powdered sugar
10 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla
Candy corn to top

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices.

Beat butter and brown sugar together about three minutes.  Mix in eggs, then reduce speed to low.  Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla, mix about two minutes.  Add flour mixture and mix until combined.

Place batter into pastry bag (or ziploc bag with a small corner cut off) and pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 about 12-14 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet an additional 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cookies are completely cooled, start the icing.

Place powdered sugar in a medium sized bowl.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling often until golden brown or about 4 minutes.  Add butter to the powdered sugar, followed by evaporated milk and vanilla.  Whisk until very smooth.  Ice each cookie, pressing a candy corn into the center and leave on rack until icing has set completely.

This was the first time I used browned butter and I am officially in love.  It goes right up there with smoothies, candy corn, and cross stitching on the list of things I'm currently inexcusably obsessed with right now.  Yes, I know am a nerd and I don't really see any way that I could save myself at this point.  

Ps. I work on Halloween night and am completely bummed about it.  I wanted Jim to be a scarecrow and sit on our doorstep scaring children.  I don't think he was going to do it anyway, but now I don't even have a reason to pester him about it.  

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