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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

October 24: Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

I know, I know. You're thinking, "ANOTHER pumpkin recipe?" 

Well, it's been awhile. Also, the day I made these was hectic. I had to go to the gym, get a haircut, pick up several items at the market, put the final touches on a short story I’ve been working on, and prep for some upcoming blogs all before my kids got home from school. Plus, I added one more thing to my task list because I wanted to bring my favorite stylist (who also happens to be my aunt!) a sweet treat.

Which had to be quick but still delicious. (Even if it is pumpkin. Again. haha!)

I’m all about homemade foods, but I also don’t shy away from taking a shortcut every now and then. Which means I have a stash of boxed cake and cookie mixes in my baking cabinet for the times I need something on the fly.

Today I reached for the bag of Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie mix I bought at Target recently.
The cookie dough came together in about 2 minutes (that is, after I’d left my butter to soften on the counter for a half hour). 

Pour the mix in a bowl. Add an egg, the stick of softened butter, and a quarter cup of water, then mix well until a batter forms. Doneso!
I used my Silpat lined cookie sheets and smallest OXO scoop to fill 3 pans with small scoops of batter. 

While they baked for about 9 minutes in a 350 degree oven, I worked on an easy homemade icing. 

See, one of my tricks for making boxed mixes taste homemade is to pair them with frostings that ARE. I put homemade buttercream icing on cakes, so why not homemade cream cheese frosting on cookies?

To make the frosting, I used a hand mixer to beat together 2 ounces of softened light cream cheese, 2 2/3 Tablespoons of softened butter, ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Once it was soft and fluffy, I added 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat until fully combined and the texture of frosting. Then I scooped the frosting into a 1-quart sized freezer bag (which I’d lined in a drinking glass to support the bag) so it was ready for me when the cookies cooled.
Frosting in the bowl
Frosting scooped into the bag-lined glass, ready to pipe
After baking for 9 minutes (when the edges got a nice golden color), I removed the cookies from the oven and allowed them to cool on the pan for an extra minute. Then I removed them to wire racks to cool completely. 
Yes, obviously this is not the same pan as the one pictured in the raw state.
Unless cookies disappeared during baking. Ha!

When completely cooled, I snipped the tip of the freezer bag so I could pipe icing onto the top of each cookie in a zigzag pattern. Then, in one final effort to enhance flavor and add a crunch, I combined some Sugar in the Raw (I eyeballed it, but I’d estimate I used about a tablespoon) with a dash of pumpkin pie spice, and I sprinkled it on top of the icing. 

That center cookie has a blob in the center because I  experimented with
spreading the icing and didn't like it.

And voila!

This treat had almost as busy a day as me, since it made its way around town to my aunt, my gym for the staffers, and my kids’ school for some teachers and secretaries. Everyone who tried them raved about them.

Including my daughter who “hates” pumpkin pie AND cream cheese AND homemade icing. When she saw them in the treat dome and asked what they were, I answered cryptically, “Cookies.” She took a small bite, her eyes bugged out, and then she said they’re the best cookies ever. I asked what she loved about them, and only broke the bad news (i.e. the ingredient list) after she’d finished her second helping. Ha! 

That’s me. Converting people one baked good at a time. 

All in a day’s work! 

**I have no affiliation or relationship with any of the brands mentioned or linked in this post. All opinions and experiences expressed herein are my own.**

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