Thursday, October 7, 2010

pumpkin cookies with vanilla buttercream frosting

It's the month of October.  And in our house that means:  PUMPKIN COOKIES.  It's a must-have for Mike.  It's been a must-have for as long as he can remember.

These cookies now have a special place in my heart, as well.  They were the very first thing I ever baked for Mike.  We had just begun to date when I secretly emailed his mom to obtain this beloved recipe.  I wanted to surprise him.  To have a much-loved memory reborn in the image of me.  {deep sigh, filled with the sweetness of love...and cookies}

These cookies are a family tradition.  And I couldn't be more happy than to share this tradition with you.  They are a tasty treat that require a full glass of milk.  That's right before you go back for another....

Aren't they just the HAPPIEST cookies you ever did see?!
pumpkin cookies
Yields about 2-1/2 dozen

1/2 c. butter
1-1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 lg. eggs
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lemon juice
2-1/2 c. flour
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1-1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t. ginger
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, on at a time.  Stir in pumpkin, lemon juice and vanilla.  Blend together flour, baking powder, salt, and spice;  blend into butter mixture.  Drop by tablespoons, onto greased baking sheets, 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.

vanilla buttercream frosting
Yields about 1-3/4 cups

3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. butter, softened
1-1/2 t. vanilla
1 to 2 T. cold milk
Mix powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl with spoon or electric mixer on low speed.  Stir in vanilla and 1 T. of the milk.  Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable.  If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time.  If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.

To decorate:
(optional, but oh-so-festive!)
Add yellow and red food coloring to your frosting until you have a desired shade of orange.  Spread each cookie with frosting or use a decorator's tube (this makes them look nicer) to frost each cookie.  Make faces with candy corn, for the eyes, and raisins, for the nose and mouth.

P.S.  Mike and I store our cookies in the fridge.  
We think they taste better when cold!  
Try a few in the fridge and see what you think!

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Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown