A great fall cookie—sweet, spicy, and delicious.
Makes about twenty 2 1/2- to 3-inch sandwich cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Sprinkles, jimmies, and/or colored sugar for decorating (optional)
- Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and cloves.
In another bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and beat to blend well.With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the flour mixture. Increase the speed to medium and beat just until the dough is thoroughly blended.
Divide the dough roughly in half (it will be sticky). With damp hands, pat each half into a 3/4-inch-thick round. Cover each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat an oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Unwrap one round of dough, place it on a floured work surface, and roll it out to 1/4-inch thick. Cut with flour-dusted cookie cutters, placing the cut cookies about 1/2-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Gather the dough scraps into a ball, pat smooth, roll again to 1/4-inch thick, and cut additional cookies, repeating until all the dough is used. Repeat with remaining round of dough. Decorate cookies with sprinkles, jimmies, and/or colored sugar, if using, pressing them into the dough.
Bake the cookies until brown at the edges for softer cookies or until completely brown for crisper ones, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely. (You can make the cookies up to 3 days in advance, storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.)
Spread the bottom of one cookie with a thin layer of the frosting, then top it with another cookie, bottom towards the frosting, making a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
5 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (about 10 ounces)
In a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Add the sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with mixer on lowest speed until well incorporated before adding more. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Cover and chill up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature or stir before spreading.