Pumpkin Cookies with Salted Penuche (Caramel!) Frosting

I’m baaaaack (for an explanation on my absence, hop on over here!)!!! I can’t tell you how great it feels to be baking again! To be honest, I had planned to start my mini baking extravaganza tomorrow, but today saw a recipe I just had to try. So, naturally (as I’m sure many of you can relate to), I got right to whipping these up!

Penuche. Doesn’t it sound fancy! Don’t let it intimidate you though! But what exactly is a penuche? Well, it’s a type of caramel made with brown sugar and butter (and if you just saw the word “caramel” and freaked out a bit again…trust me…it’s not too tricky!). As I’ve told you many times before, and I’m sure you’ve gathered, I love salted caramel items. When I saw this frosting was a caramel flavor, I immediately realized that a sprinkling of sea salt on top would be just perfect…and what do you know? It was!

Take a look at the pictures. First up…fresh out of the oven!

Then, make some penuche!

Mmm, mmm, mmm! It’s addicting! Now, frost the cookies.

And you know these cookies would be delicious as is, but why not make them even more yummy? Add a sprinkling of sea salt!

Notes:

The Process: These were quick to whip up. The only issue one might have is with the penuche. As long as you watch the sugar and butter very carefully as to make sure it doesn’t burn, it should come out perfectly!

The Verdict: Mmmmmmmmmm. I love the traditional combo of pumpkin and cream cheese, but I’d never really had this flavor profile of pumpkin and caramel. Let me just say that this recipe will definitely be a keeper! Absolutely delicious! Madison adored them, and was puzzled as to why I didn’t make a bigger batch! Lesson to be learned: Make them, but make a lot!

Pumpkin Cookies with Salted Penuche (Caramel!) Frosting

Adapted from Daily Crave

Makes about 48 small cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Extra sea salt for sprinkling

Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease cookie sheets. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.  

In a separate bowl, cream together shortening, brown and white sugars.  Mix in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Add the dry flour mixture and combine.

Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 10-14 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Frosting:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the 3 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then stir for about 1 minute while it thickens. Be careful not to let it burn at any point! Cool slightly, then stir in the milk little by little, and beat until smooth. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until frosting has reached desired consistency. Spread on cookies. Sprinkle a small dash of sea salt atop each cookie. Enjoy!

*Note: You can make bars instead of the cookies. To do so, pour the batter into a 9-inch-by-13-inch greased pan and bake for around 25-35 minutes.

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