Pumpkin Week Part I: Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

I have decided to dedicate this week to that great orange fruit we all know and love, member of the cucurbitaceae family…drumroll please…the PUMPKIN!  I scoured through my cookbooks and found quite a few pumpkin bread and pumpkin cake recipes, and of course pumpkin pie recipes.  I really wanted to find a good pumpkin cookie recipe.  I found this recipe in my More from Magnolia cookbook.  This cookbook had been good to me.  It contains my absolute favorite banana bread recipe that has coconut and pecans in it.  So, I figured it was a safe bet to try these cake-like cookies.  

I liked this soft cookie, but would maybe add more walnuts.  They have a soft texture and a mild pumpkin flavor.  The spices are mild also, but that could be because I haven’t bought a new round of holiday season spices yet.  Note to self…buy new spices.  They are OK on their own, but they are incredible with the frosting!  The frosting was simple; powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and butter.  This is no ordinary butter, people.  Before adding the butter you brown it in a saucepan and that makes all the difference.  Browned butter adds this lovely nuttiness as well as little brown flecks to the otherwise boring white frosting.  I did not have enough frosting for all the cookies, so I will double it next time.  I am a frosting fan, so others may not see the need for more.  Come on though, what could be wrong with left-over frosting?  Keep it in the fridge and spread it on graham crackers, pretzels, or your finger.  

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting (Adapted from More From Magnolia)


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 4 T softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temp.
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375° F.

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until well combined.  Add eggs, vanilla and pumpkin.  Mix well.
  3. Stir in the walnuts.
  4. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutesm until lightly brown around the edges.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes on the sheets, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Brown Butter Frosting (doubled)

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 T milk
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 6 T butter
  1. Mix sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, cook butter over medium high heat until lightly browned.
  3. Remove from heat and add to other ingredients.  Mix until well combined, smooth and creamy.
  4. Spread frosting onto each cooled cookie.  Top with a walnut half if desired.