Sometimes to get my fix, I resort to baking. And this here, this is a good cookie, especially with Halloween and Thanksgiving around the corner. I started with a food.com recipe, but decided it wasn't quite awesome enough, so I played with it.
It's pumpkin-flavored. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. (That comes from proper baking time and temperature.) It has a dab of salty, cinnamon caramel frosting. And it's topped with crunchy candied pecans. Overall, the whole thing isn't too sweet, and it's got some complexity in flavor and texture. Hooray!
PUMPKIN PECAN CRUNCH COOKIES
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, and beat just until combined. Drop tablespoons of dough 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 6 minutes, then rotate baking sheets and bake 6-7 minutes more, until cookies just begin to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool slightly, then use a spatula to transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Use a small offset spatula to ice cookies with Cinnamon Caramel Icing, and sprinkle with chopped Pecan Brittle.
CINNAMON CARAMEL ICING
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Place butter and brown sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until brown sugar dissolves. Let cool, and whisk in remaining ingredients.
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place a silicone baking liner or a sheet of buttered parchment paper next to the stove. Place chopped pecans on a baking sheet and toast 6-7 minutes, until fragrant. Meanwhile, stir together sugar, water and lemon juice in a clean saucepan. Turn heat on high, and let cook until medium brown; your goal is to get the color as deep as possible without burning it. Stir in the hot, toasted pecans. Spread this mixture as flat as possible onto the silicone baking liner and let it cool completely. (To clean the sticky saucepan, fill it with some water and simmer it for awhile, until the caramel dissolves.)
Photo: Dara Sahebjami