Moist, chewy pumpkin cookies with a crunchy outside and creamy center. The juxtaposition of smooth cream cheese and coarse Turbinado sanding sugar adds a lovely textural element, and the warming spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger – make this a great cookie to reach for on colder days.
Author Kathleen Culver
Pumpkin Cookie Dough
½cup (113g, 4 oz)butter, browned (I used salted here)
⅓cup (68g)granulated sugar
⅔cup (148g)brown sugar
⅓cup (81g)pumpkin puree
1 ½cups (180g)all-purpose flour
1 ½teaspooncinnamon, ground
Cinnamon Sugar for Rolling
Cream Cheese Filling
8ozcream cheese, room temperature
⅓cup (42g)powdered sugar, sifted well
Post-bake Sugar Topping
¼cup (50g)coarse turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Continue heating while butter begins to foam. Whisk frequently and watch carefully for the change of color from pale yellow to golden brown as the solids separate down to the bottom and the butter begins to brown. Remove from heat promptly and set aside to cool.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add granulated and brown sugars, egg yolk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Add the cooled brown butter and mix on medium-low speed until well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Once well mixed, add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix on low just until no dry ingredient streaks are visible. Remove bowl from mixer and mix a few strokes with a spatula to ensure the flour mixture is fully incorporated.
Using a 1 ½ Tablespoon cookie scoop (#40), portion out scoops onto a cookie sheet. Roll each cookie in cinnamon sugar mixture. Use your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon (I used the butt end of a citrus reamer) to make an indent in the center of each cookie to hold the cream cheese mixture. Don't add the filling yet. Place into fridge to chill for at least 1-2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the cream cheese filling, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, or slightly warmer. Add the cream cheese and sifted powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for several minutes, stopping a few times to scrape the mixture down from the sides.
Once cream cheese and sugar mixture is smooth and without lumps, add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
Place 8 cookie dough shapes on a parchment lined cookie sheet at one time (two rows of three, plus one row of two cookies in the middle.) Using a teaspoon, measure out 2 teaspoons of cream cheese filling into the center indent of each cookie. They will be heaped full, but the filling shouldn't run when baked.
Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 13-15 minutes, until edges are beginning to firm up and crack slightly. Cool on sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
For added visual interest, flavor, and an excellent textural crunch, sprinkle each baked cookie with turbinado sugar and a dash of cinnamon.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies https://www.theflouredtable.com/pumpkin-cream-cheese-thumbprint-cookies/