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Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints

Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsIf you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been counting down the seconds leading up to my annual trip to Swan’s Island, Maine. I’ve been crossing things off of an elaborate to-do list:

obtain more overalls
get an absurd amount of coffee from Sahadi’s
finalize our grocery list
pack four bags or less
pick up rental car
somehow find time to work
tell you about these Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints
go to MainePumpkin Pie ThumbprintsYep, this is the last thing I have to do before I hit the road today! I mean, it would be super rude of me to leave without telling you about these Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints, now wouldn’t it? They’re teeny, tiny two-bite pumpkin pies nestled in sugar cookies—you *need* to know about these. You need to bake these.Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsPumpkin Pie ThumbprintsPumpkin Pie ThumbprintsPumpkin Pie ThumbprintsThe secret to these thumbprints? Pumpkin Spice Spread! I posted this super-easy, super-versatile recipe last week, and here it is again. This time, it’s piped into little wells in the middles of sugar cookies and baked until puffy and perfect. You’ll only need about half the batch to make these cookies, but trust me, you won’t have any trouble finding uses for the rest. *hint hint* Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsWhile pumpkin pie is traditionally finished off with whipped cream, that doesn’t make much sense in a cookie. I went with a simple icing drizzle as the final flourish, and I regret nothing. Aren’t they cute?! Almost as cute as they are delicious—what could be bad about buttery cookies with squidgy pumpkin centers?Pumpkin Pie ThumbprintsOkay, there it is—you know about Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints. That’s one more thing off the list. I guess all there is to do is road trip north. Can’t wait to get to Swan’s and show you what we’re cooking up six miles out to sea.Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints

Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints
makes about 3.5 dozen cookies

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 oz (1/2 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Filling:
~1 cup Pumpkin Spice Spread

Icing:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
3-4 teaspoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cream in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Place the narrow end of a a piping bag (or the corner of a ziptop bag) in a tall cup and stretch the wide end over the edge. Fill with pumpkin spice spread (you may not be aboe to use it all at once). Twist to close. Set aside.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll each int a ball. Place dough balls at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Use the back of a very small spoon (like a 1/2 teaspoon) to slowly press a well into each dough ball. They may crack a bit—just smooth them with your fingers. If dough gets too warm and sticky, freeze for 10 minutes.

If necessary, snip a the narrow end of your piping bag.

Bake cookies 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven, then carefully press the back of a rounded 1 teaspoon measuring spoon into the centers again. Pipe pumpkin spice spread into each well. Carefully tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to release large air bubbles. Bake cookies another 10 minutes, until pumpkin spice spread is set.

Let cookies cool on the pans for 10 minutes before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling and baking process with all remaining dough, letting the cookie sheets come back to room temperature between batches.

Serve cookies room temperature or chilled. Leftovers may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.Pumpkin Pie Thumbprints