Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pumpkin, Brown Butter, Pine Nut-Rosemary Brittle Cookies

"Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a real prince."  This saying fits perfectly with the journey these cookies went on before they landed here and were deemed worthy by the Queen to set before thou.  I baked these Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Buttercream and Pine Nut-Rosemary Brittle for Mother's Day gifts and to say they were received in royal fashion is an understatement.  I guess eating all those ugly frogs to get to a real prince was worth the treadmill time after all.

Proclamation from the Queen:  "Go forth loyal subjects and make your cookie calorie consumption for the weekend count."  Don't be like the Queen who will shove any old frog in her mouth for the benefit of her subjects.  (The shame is real.)

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Buttercream and Pine Nut-Rosemary Brittle

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 
3 cups powdered sugar 
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream 
Pinch sea salt 

1.  Place 1/2 cup of the butter in a small pot and place on a burner on medium-low heat, let cook for 7-10 minutes until the butter is nice and browned. Place the pot in the fridge (or freezer) until the butter is firm again. 

2.  Mix and bake cookie dough while the butter is firming up. 

3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature 
2/3 cup granulated sugar 
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed 
1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
2 eggs 
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees F. 

2.  Combine in a large mixing bowl butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar, mix on low speed until well incorporated. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla. Stir well until combined. (If you have a whole can of puree you can freeze the remainder or use it in pancakes or waffles.) 

3.  Scoop heaping tablespoon sized balls of dough onto baking sheets that are prepared with parchment or silicone mats. Place balls a few inches apart, about 12 per sheet. Should get about 48 cookies from the dough. (A cookie scoop works really well for a soft dough like this one.)

4.  Bake one tray of cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes, repeat for rest of trays. The cookie will just barely spring back when ready. Place cookies on cooling rack to completely cool, or just lift off the whole sheet of parchment and leave it on the counter to cool.

5.  Remove browned butter from fridge and add to the bowl of a mixer along with the additional 4 tablespoons of room temperature butter and start beating with a whisk attachment on low speed. Once softened add the powder sugar a little bit a time, starting and stopping the mixer to fully incorporate. Add the salt and cream and mix until the frosting is nice and fluffy. Add the frosting to a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped off and pipe on top of the cooled cookies. 

Pine Nut-Rosemary Brittle: 
1/4 cup light corn syrup 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup water 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
2.25 ounces (about 1/2 cup) pine nuts, toasted 
Pinch of flake sea salt 
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced 

1.  In a small skillet toast pine nuts on medium-low heat until slightly golden. Remove from heat and let cool. 

2.  In a small pot add the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and let cook until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees or until it turns light amber in color. Whisk in butter and fold in nuts, salt, and rosemary. Pour mixture onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment and smooth to a thin layer with a silicone spatula. Once cool, break or cut into small pieces and place on top of the frosted cookies.

Go forth, enjoy your weekend, hang out in the company of some real princes for a change, you deserve it.  

The Queen!


  1. What a great treat! The cookie alone is already GREAT, then you added brittle and frosting...just heavenly!

  2. wow! what a fabulous combination!!! The finished product is classy, you seriously rock.

  3. What divine little cookies, I love the frosting and brittle topping!

  4. Gina, every time I visit your blog you always make me laugh -- and these days I need those laughs. But if that isn't enough you always present us with the most delicious treats that make me want to lick the screen. I hope you are doing well my dear friend. Take care! xoxo