These frosted pumpkin cookies are sure to delight all avid pumpkin lovers and they just may convert any who aren’t.
When we go to holiday parties, I have one goal when it comes to the food that I bring, which is to not come home with any! Normally I am a fan of leftovers but when it comes to parties, I want to see an empty try when I go to leave. I have left several holiday parties where I spent a ton of time and effort on the food that I brought but I went home with almost all of it. Not a great feeling! It wasn’t that my food wasn’t good, but there never seems to be a shortage of food at parties and people can only eat so much!
My number one tip to ensure an empty tray at the end of the night: bring finger foods! (Obviously if you are in charge of making the ham or a side dish this probably isn’t possible). So this rule applies to appetizers and desserts. People are more likely to choose your food if they don’t have to work to get it (like slicing a cake or pie) and it is easy to grab. Guests at the party will also grab finger foods on their way to get a drink….hence people eating more than one of your item.
If you love bringing home leftovers from holiday parties then disregard everything I just said and get ready for the delicious cookie discussion! I have made these for some Husker tailgate parties (GBR!) and was told by someone who tried these cookies that “I don’t even like pumpkin but I can’t stop eating these cookies!” I will take that compliment any day!
On a side note, these cookies took on a new name at our family Christmas party this year. My favorite six year old nephew (shout out to Jack!) asked me what was in them. Only because I enjoy making him think that I am kind of crazy, I explained that there was pumpkin… and love baked in them. He followed with the “what is that lady smoking” look and then ate it with a smile. Hence the “Pumpkin Love Cookies” were born.
Cookie Making Time:
These pumpkin cookies are easy to make and are sure to get you plenty of compliments. The cookies themselves are not super sweet, but are outstanding when drizzled in this cream cheese frosting.
If you want to push these cookies over the top then the trick is to sift the powdered sugar spice mix over the top. It adds not only an extra sweet layer to the cookies but also makes the presentation that much better. As much as I dislike the snow outside right now, I am a big fan of the “snow” dust on these cookies!
If you are anything like me then you will obviously have to taste one… or a few… before you take them to your party. Don’t feel guilty because we all do it! Since there is cream cheese in the frosting of these cookies, you will want to store these in the fridge.
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1¼ cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 oz cream cheese
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl cream together the butter and sugars.*
- Add the egg, pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat until creamy.
- Mix in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices & salt),
- Use a medium sized cookie scoop or use a tablespoon to place cookies on a greased baking sheet (or use a slip mat).
- Spray the bottom part of a spoon with non-stick spray and gently push down the middle of each cookie (you will need to respray the spoon multiple times).
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. They will be done when you push on the middle of a cookie and it springs back (if you leave a finger print dent then they aren't done yet).
- Leave cookies on baking sheet for two minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting.
- Place the cream cheese in the mixing bowl and mix for one minute to soften.
- Add milk and mix for 30 seconds.
- Gradually sift and mix the powdered sugar into the cream cheese.**
- Frost cookies with a knife or put the frosting in a Ziploc bag & cut off the corner of the bag to pipe the frosting on the cookies.
- To push these over the top, mix 1 tbsp powdered sugar and 1 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
- Sift mixture over the top of the frosted cookies.
- If you prefer, you can omit the powdered sugar and just sift the spices over the top of the cookies for less of a "snow" look.
**While sifting the sugar is mandatory, it does prevent the sugar from getting clumpy in your frosting.
***Due to the cream cheese in the frosting, these will need to be stored in the fridge.