Autumn’s brilliant colors blanketing the landscape is always a vivid reminder that time is flurrying by and the holidays are just around the corner. For cooks this means it is time for some careful planning that is key to seamless holiday entertaining. Baking cookies tops my list. It is always good idea to include old favorites that are sure please everyone, but I like to include a cookie that has a back story.

Pumpkins and pecans are both native to the Americas. They pair well, and are ideal for both sweet and savory holiday baking projects. I urge you to try these festive pumpkin pecan cookies with a caramel Kahlua glaze. They are sure to liven up your holiday entertaining!


Pumpkin Pecan Cookies with Caramel Kahlua Glaze

Makes 24 cookies

preheat oven to 350 f / 180 c

Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.


Pumpkin Pecan Cookies

  • 1 ½ cups pecans, toasted, and chopped
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Caramel Kahlua Glaze

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp Kahlua (or rum)
  • water to thin


Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and pop them into the preheat oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool. Then chop the pecans and set aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and auspice and whisk to combine.

, Combine the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl. Using either a stand or hand mixer, beat the ingredients on medium high speed until until light and fluffy.  Add the Greek Yogurt and beat  until incorporated. Then ddd the pumpkin puree, and vanilla, and mix on medium low speed until just combined.

Reduce mixer to ow speed and begin adding the dry ingredients. Mixing just until combined. The dough will be very firm.

Add the pecans and fold in using a silicone spatula until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Using an ice cream scoop with prominently a 2 tablespoon capacity is ideal for shaping the cookies. Dipping the scoop into cold water before scooping up the dough w makes it so much easier to to release the dough onto prepared baking sheet without any fuss. Allow about 1 ½ inches between each cookie.

Gently press the tops of the cookies with your finger tips to flatten them slightly.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet front to back half way through the baking time.

When done transfer the baking sheet to a rack and set aside to cool.

Once the cookies are cool you can prepare the glaze.

Measure out the powdered sugar and set aside.

Using a heavy bottomed sauce pan combine the brown sugar and heavy cream set over medium heat. Swirl the pan until simmering. Once the mixture begins to boil turn the heat down so the mixture bubbles evenly, while swirling the pan, for 4 or 5 minutes without overheating.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the Kahlua and swirl until combined.

Promptly add the powdered sugar and whisk continuously until the mixture is smooth and thickening as it begins to cool down. If the mixture begins d to seize up just add a little water the thin it down a bit.

Quickly glaze the cookies by spooning the glaze over the top of each cookie in a circular motion. Work as fast as you can as the glaze will become less fluid as it cools. Should that happen just whisk in a little water to thin the glaze just enough to continue.

Allow the glazed cookies to set for 30 minutes. Yu can then place them in cookie tins with parchment sheets between layers.



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