I love baking and decorating sugar cookies this time of year! From Halloween until Valentines Day the amount of cutout sugar cookies to leave my kitchen is mind-blowing. I have so many themed cookie cutters, sprinkles, decorating bags and tips that it would make your head spin. Cutout cookies are so festive and always a welcome addition to any get together. A few weekends ago as I was making some jack o’lanterns with my favorite Sugar Cookie Cutout recipe, I couldn’t help but think of how great a pumpkin shaped cutout cookie would taste if it actually tasted like pumpkin! That was exactly how this recipe was born.
I found that pumpkin puree made the cookies too wet and cake like, so after ditching the idea of using real pumpkin, I added some pumpkin pie spice and hit the jackpot! These pumpkin spice sugar cutout cookies are delicious and so fun to decorate for fall. As much as I love to decorate with Royal Icing, I know that many people do not enjoy the taste and texture of it. So I decided to decorate with an icing that hardens beautifully for decorating (but not as hard as royal icing) and tastes great!
For the Cookies:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Icing:
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon cream
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and vanilla; beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed. Shape into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator onto a lightly floured surface. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out cookies, placing on prepared baking sheet.
- Place baking sheet with cookies on them in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before baking.
- Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake cookies for 8-9 minutes until edges are just ready to turn the slightest bit light brown. Cool on a wire rack before decorating.
- To make the icing, in a saucepan over medium heat, heat cream and butter until butter is melted. Stir in the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Remove from heat, and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth.
- The icing sets up very quickly, so when you are decorating if you find that it becomes hard to work with, place in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and it will re-soften and be smooth again. Alternately, you can place the icing in a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water to keep it smooth.