Happy 1st day of spring! Pumpkin is good for you so why wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy it. Today's cookie is a soft, pumpkiny cookie with a kick. The icing softens the spiciness.
Ingredients: 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)butter, softened, 2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces), 3/4 cup evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Icing: 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks)butter, 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk, plus more if needed, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine butter and brown sugar; beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low and add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; blend well. Gradually add flour mixture to cream mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
Drop by tablespoonfuls on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 9-10 minutes, or until tops spring back when touched. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
Make icing: Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Place confectioners' sugar in medium bowl; immediately add browned butter, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla; stir until smooth.
Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in a little more evaporated milk. Cookies can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
"Martha Stewart's Cookies", published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York, in 2008.