To get into the “holiday spirit,” I decided a themed cookie would be in order. After years of seeing these babies in bakery windows and in magazines (Family Circle, I’m looking at you) I knew I had to make them. More complicated than they appear, you can use the design technique on cut-out cookies or the tops of cupcakes. I used self-rising flour, left over from my Magnolia extravaganza, but a basic flour-baking-soda-salt mixture works, too (see below for measurements.) These cookies are also delicious with chocolate chips and walnuts, as one of my roommates makes them.
2 1/4 cups flour (or 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour, omit the baking powder, baking soda and salt)
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. butter (or 1/2 c. butter and 1/2 cup. vegetable shortening, such as Crisco)
1 c. sugar
1 3/4 cup (15 ounce can) pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
2-4 cups of confectioners sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3-4 T. milk
Preheat oven to 375°
Combing flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop into GREASED baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes, cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack.
Beat sugar, a few tablespoons each of butter and milk, vanill and salt. Add more sugar or melted butter to reach desired consistency (it should be on the thin side, but not dripping.) Transfer 1/2 mixture into smaller bowl. Add cocoa powder and beat until there are no lumps. Add more cocoa powder depending on your preference. Transfer chocolate icing to a pastry bag with a fine tip or a zip lock bag, with a small corner cut. Color the remaining vanilla icing orange or purple (or both, as I did!)
When cookies have cooled, thinly ice the flat side (bottom) with the vanilla (colored) icing. Using the pastry bag or zip lock bag, trace a circle around the perimeter of the cookie, and another inside of that; placing a dot in the center. Quickly run a toothpick or finely bladed knife through the circles, moving from the center. Allow the cookies to harden slightly before loosely covering with plastic wrap.