This recipe uses several of my favorite ingredients: white chocolate chips, pecans, pumpkin spice and cream cheese frosting. They are a pretty and festive treat, perfect for a holiday party. A cookie sandwich is a no-fuss, no-muss dessert that you can set out with napkins and just forget about! This pumpkin recipe is a nice change from the traditional pumpkin pie, especially for me because I hate pumpkin pie. It’s like a pie made of slime. That’s orange. Whose idea was that?
I first tested these cookies out on my fellow art students and they vanished in under an hour, even down to the last crumb. The second batch was split between the dessert table at my grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner and the up-for-grabs snack table at work.
You can make up the cookie dough used in this recipe a week or so ahead of time and store it in the freezer. The cookies can be baked and assembled one or two days ahead of time, leaving you plenty of time to focus on cleaning, cooking and drinking! That’s what my family does to prepare for holiday parties anyway…
While these cookies are yummy by themselves, the cream cheese frosting makes them even better. This frosting can make anything amazing. Butter, cream cheese and sugar. The holy trinity of baked goods. My mom uses it exclusively on her homemade carrot cake. I have been known to scrape the icing off to eat and simply leaving the cake behind. Even though that cake is pretty good, too. I recommend making up the frosting no earlier than the day before you plan to serve these. Frost and assemble the cookies while the frosting is still fresh and store them in the fridge.
Store leftover canned pumpkin in an airtight container in the fridge and try one of the following recipes to use it up!
I wonder what I should do with this leftover frosting…
Perfect. Now it’s healthy.
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tsps Saigon cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp allspice
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup white morsels
1 cup pumpkin spice-roasted pecans, chopped (recipe below)
Cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
Additional chopped pecans or white chocolate, optional
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Sift or whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add morsels and pecans.
Cream sugar and butter. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.
Combine wet and dry ingredients. (The dough will be very wet, similar to a quick bread batter, but that is normal.)
Chill dough overnight or for at least 1 hour.
Drop dough onto greased cookie sheets by rounded tablespoonful and flatten slightly.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Remove sheet from oven to carefully flip cookies and flatten gently with a spatula (like pancakes!). Return to oven for additional 3-5 minutes.
Let rest on cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes or until firm enough to move.
Carefully transfer to wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Spread or pipe frosting onto one cookie and top with 2nd cookie. (Prettier side facing out!)
Mound frosting towards center of cookie and avoid icing all the way to the edges. This will ensure the frosting doesn’t spill out the side of your assembled sandwich.
If you like, press chopped pecans or white chocolate chips onto sides.
The sandwiches can be left out for a couple hours but should be stored in the fridge after that because of the cream cheese in the frosting.
Pumpkin Spice-Roasted Pecans:
(These can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.)
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Spread 1 cup halved pecans on greased baking sheet. (Use an additional 1 cup if you would like extra for the sides of your sandwiches.)
Spray with cooking spray.
Sprinkle with powdered cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice. (Just a dusting of each or to taste.)
Stir to coat.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until darkened and fragrant.
Once roasted, you can put these in a Ziploc bag and easily crush them with a rolling pin instead of chopping.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
Blend cream cheese and butter.
Mix in sugar and vanilla.
Add milk or cream by tablespoon until spreading consistency is reached.