Skip to content

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

February 19, 2011



Some of my favorite people in this world are leaving me. The advertising agency industry is a big revolving door: waves of newbie arrivals and seasons of bittersweet departures. Having worked in the ad world for six years now, I still get upset when the best individuals you work with move on. In the last year and a half, 10 colleagues of mine have decided to pursue bigger things. It breaks my heart that I will not get to see their faces everyday, talk reality TV nonsense in the kitchen, grab cocktails after work hours, and miss out on their creative brilliance.

I hate seeing them go but there’s nothing I wish more than their success and fulfillment.


Pumpkin Cookies


I’ve been reminiscing precious times with my colleagues who are my dear friends including a super rad Super Bowl potluck party my agency hosted. Food, beer, games, laughter, and mockery were shared among us peers. It was probably one of the most genuine “fun time” moment I had with my colleagues in a while. I made Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Icing for the potluck. It was such a hit at the party that two of my co-workers asked for the recipe so they could make it the next day at a baking party they were going to.


The Crowd Pleaser


These cookies are cakey and soft, topped with icing made of browned butter. Imagine eating  a cupcake top (like slicing off the top of the cupcake) with a spoonful of delectable frosting. That’s the experience you get when you make and eat these cookies.




Flavor-wise these cookies are very fall/winter inspired. It has the same ingredients as a pumpkin pie custard: pumpkin purée, evaporated milk, and good ‘ol spices. Complementing these luscious cookies is browned butter icing, made of browned butter (obviously), powdered sugar, and evaporated milk. The icing is pretty sweet. Go easy if you don’t want the cookies to be too sweet.


Pumpkin Puree




I got this recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine’s special Holiday cookie issue that came out back in 2005. The entire issue was devoted to anything and everything cookies. Delicate cookies, chewy cookies, crumbly cookies, cakey cookies, you name it! Each recipe also came with a fabulous photo (which is absolutely mandatory now in modern times).




Since the probability of acquiring this particular Holiday issue is uncertain, or should I say impossible, I will share the recipe here. My one piece of advice to prevent this dilemma in the future? Buy them when they come out. Period. It costs more than a regular issue but the collection of recipes and ideas are endless. A magazine issue you’ll keep for a really long time, if not always.

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

Recipe from 2006 Holiday issue of Martha Stewart Living. Makes about 5-6 dozen.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 14-oz. can solid-pack pumpkin (I just used the normal sized 15 oz. can)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
10 tablespoons or 1 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1. Make cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs one at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well-blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture on low-speed and mix just until combined.

3. Transfer some of the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until top springs back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.

4. Make icing: Put confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately add browned butter to confectioner’s sugar, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla, stir until smooth.

5. Spread about a teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in more evaporated milk, a little at a time. Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2011 11:57 am

    I’m a fellow ad/pr baker and just found your blog! So cute! And totally know what you mean by the news waves of people. We had 7 people start last week. yish! It’s like you’re always trying to learn names. Well- I’ve seen this recipe in my Martha Stewart Cookies Cookbook and have been dying to try it. They look absolutely delicious. Can’t wait!

    • February 19, 2011 4:32 pm

      Oh hello there! Good thing (or bad for some) the ad/pr world is a small industry. The likelihood of working with the same people in the future is highly plausible. I am glad you mentioned that this recipe is actually included in the Cookies Cookbook, which I have yet to get. Thanks so much and you have to try making them soon, they are so good!

  2. February 20, 2011 9:43 pm

    I’ve made this recipe before and it is so good! It would be a hit at any pot luck party. And I know how you feel about saying goodbye to people that you have grown to love. I feel the is so hard. Thank you for sharing tonight! I hope you have a great Monday, my friend.

  3. February 23, 2011 12:04 pm

    now i know what to do with my can of pumpkin….great cookies…

    • March 19, 2011 8:10 pm

      These cookies is one way to extend our pumpkin baking all through out the year!

  4. March 3, 2011 11:37 am

    I’ve given you the Stylish Blogger Award! Here’s the deets: Congrats!!

  5. March 4, 2011 5:19 pm

    What divine cookies! I really love the icing. I’m drooling…




  1. Tweets that mention Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Icing « found baking --

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: