Brown Butter Pumpkin Cookies with Apple Cider Glaze
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks or 175 grams) butter
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon*
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (about 125 grams) pumpkin purée**
1 1/4 cups (156 grams) flour
For the apple cider glaze:
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons apple cider (or milk), plus more if needed
Make the cookies: Brown the butter by cooking the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. It will begin to foam but keep stirring constantly and scraping up the bits on the bottom until the butter is golden brown and smells nutty and delicious. Turn off the heat and transfer – little brown butter bits and all! – to a liquid measuring cup. You will need 1/2 cup of brown butter for the cookies and the extra will be used for the glaze. Measure out 3 tablespoons (or so) of butter into a small bowl or until the butter remaining in the cup hits the 1/2 cup mark. Make sure to stir up all the brown butter bits when measuring to get the most flavor. Let the butter cool for about 20 minutes, or until it is no longer warm to the touch.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside. Whisk together brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl. Whisk in egg yolk and vanilla. Add pumpkin purée and mix until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup cooled brown butter. Add flour and stir vigorously until no streaks remain. Scoop dough into small balls, roll between your palms until smooth, then place on the prepared sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the tops are set. Let cool on the pan for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze: Use a fork to stir the powdered sugar into the small bowl of brown butter. Add a pinch of salt and vanilla. It will be crumbly but don’t fret. Stir in 1 tablespoon cider (or milk). Use a whisk as it begins to thin out to stir out any lumps. Add cider 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze is smooth and spreadable. Spread over the top of each cookie and sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg if desired. Let stand for 15 minutes or so until the glaze has set. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
*The spices can also be replaced with 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
**Wondering what to do with the rest of that can of pumpkin? How about a batch or two of boozy toasted marshmallow pumpkin shakes or maybe a pan of pumpkin and burnt sugar shortbread squares. Leftover pumpkin may also be stored in a well-sealed container (it is best if you remove it from the can first) for one week in the refrigerator and up to three months in the freezer.