Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

I know you’re all sick to death of me talking about the weather, but as I type this, the snow is still dripping from the boots I kicked off as soon as I walked in the door of my apartment. It was, for all intents and purposes, blizzarding sideways as I trudged home from class tonight. Can someone please explain to me what bizarre weather continuum I’ve entered?

Anyway. I’ve got a treat for you today! (Literally and figuratively.) This guest poster is someone you’ve encountered on this blog before, in stories I’ve told you about my baking and eating adventures. My lovely sister, Middle Chip (aka Megan), is quite a baker herself and (after a little bit of encouragement) agreed to share one of her latest creations with my lovely readers. Thanks, Meg!

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Fall is in the air!  And with that brings leaves changing color, crisp mornings, and…college midterms? Presidential debates? Term papers? Enough stress to make anyone’s head spin. Senioritis? What is that? Foreign concept up in here.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m feeling super stressed, I need to do something to take my mind off it. Sometimes it’s a run to clear my mind. Sometimes it’s catching up on my new Hulu favorites (Nashville, anyone? 666 Park Avenue, Go On… I’m obsessed.  Good thing I work in TV 😉 ). But when you have three similarly stressed roommates, there’s only one answer that will help us all: baking.

Earlier that week with my Columbus Day holiday I had made some pumpkin bread for my roommates and choir director (because Italians and gourds totally go together. Isn’t that an obvious connection?). With half a can of leftover pumpkin, I began scouring the Internet for a recipe to put it to good use (waste not, want not!).

So one cool fall night, while watching Paul Ryan and Joe Biden duke it out debate style, I took to my kitchen with this great recipe for pumpkin cookies from Joy of Baking. Immense success–my roommates loved it, and my apartment smelled absolutely amazing all night!

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing
Source: Joy of Baking

For the cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or corn oil (or other flavorless oil)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 oz room temperature cream cheese, regular or low fat
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or nonstick foil, which is what I used since I didn’t have parchment paper).
2. In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt.
3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Using 1/4 cup of batter (can use a small ice cream scoop or measuring cup) place small mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.
4. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

**Note: Despite its name, this mix is not going to have the traditional dry, sturdy consistency of chocolate chip or sugar cookie dough. It will be more wet and liquidy, like a thick cake batter. I recommend using a small measuring cup or something similar to scoop (my roommates and I have a set that measure exactly 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc.). After you’ve dolloped, use a spoon or clean fingers to neaten up the scoop and trace into clean circles. This way, they’ll bake to that shape!

5. While the cookies are baking, beat the cream cheese and butter until soft and creamy. Beat in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla until the frosting is soft and creamy and of spreading consistency. Place small dollops of the frosting on each cookie or put the frosting in a piping bag, fitted with a small plain tip, and pipe swirls of frosting on the top of each cookie.

Store frosted cookies in the refrigerator.

Don’t be alarmed when you pull these out of the oven! Like I said, these cookies sport a cake-like consistency. If you’ve ever had a whoopee pie, that’s basically what you’re going to see. As such, Tara agreed with me that taking two of these and filling the middle with vanilla or cream cheese frosting would be akin to something heaven-sent. [Editorial note: HECK YES.] But these cookies are great iced or plain–whatever you prefer! You can ice some and leave the rest plain if you want. Personally, I’m always a fan of icing on anything–and I fully support as much “taste testing” with this icing recipe as needed.

Hope you enjoyed this baking adventure! A big thanks to my awesome blogger-sister here at Chip Chip Hooray for inviting me to guest post! Aaand for appointing me your designated taste-tester. I’m not sure which one I’ve enjoyed more. 😉

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11 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Haha I feel like all I talk about it how we are still having highs in the 70s and how much I want fall/winter weather. I miss living in the North :-(. But anyway, there’s nothing better than cream cheese frosting on pumpkin cookies!

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