At ~9:45AM a couple Saturdays ago, our group arrived at the end of the 6km line of cars waiting to get onto the field where the Great Potato Giveaway would be held. When Marie and Morris picked us up at 9AM that morning, we had all agreed that if the line was too long we would turn around and find another destination. And that we did.
We ended up at Brenneis, a family owned farm and veggie stand slightly east of Kuhlmann's. There were all sorts of lovely fall items including Swiss chard, beets, various styles of beans and best of all, they had some pumpkins. We picked out a deep orange one, looking forward to some good pumpkin puree for pie and cookies.
In addition to Brenneis, we also stopped at Kuhlmann's. They had partnered with the Great Potato Giveaway event that day to raise money for the GEA - Kuhlmann's donated various veggies arranged in bins outside, and shoppers could pay $10 to fill a bag with whatever they liked. Although both the cause and price were right, we had already filled our veggie quota for the week and left Kuhlmann's with the single addition of a medium sized yellow zucchini.
The pumpkin from Brenneis was turned into cookies earlier this week. I used a recipe out of Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies magazine that was published in November of 2005. I love this magazine... it's full of a little over one hundred cookie recipes for fall/winter and has a fantastic index with pictures of each cookie divided into separate categories (ie. soft and chewy, light and delicate, etc.). There are even instructions included that show fun ways to package your baked goods as gifts... if you are feeling particularly crafty.
I've had great success with every recipe I've made from this magazine, and these were no exception - they are light and airy (more like small cakes), and the brown butter icing gives them a nice, nutty-sweetness that contrasts well with the nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon in the cookies themselves.
Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing from Martha Stewart's "Holiday Cookies" issue, November 2005
Makes approx. 6 dozen
Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.
For the cookies:
2 3/4 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 nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces) - the recipe calls for canned...
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the icing:
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. For cookies: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Whisk together 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 a paddle attachment (I used my arm and a spatula). Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
3. (*I was being lazy and opted to scoop the dough rather than pipe it.) Transfer 1 1/2 cups 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 tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
4. For 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 minutes. Immeidately add butter to confectioners' sugar, scraping any brown bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla; stir until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in more evaporated milk, a little at a time.