The Great Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Bet you were expecting some sort of delicious, cakey, pumkin-ey cookies weren’t you?
Not to burst your bubble, but these are waaaaay better!! I’ll give ya’ 4 good reasons: butter, more butter, lots of sugar, plus citrus zest. And reason #5 – bring these melt-in-your-mouth cookies to your halloween bash, and you’ll be the star of the party!
So, while you’re out searching for the perfect pair of fishnet stockings to complete that Elvira costume, don’t forget these cookies would be the perfect accessory. Heck, they’ll get you lots more attention than that getup anyway!
These cookies are a must have every Christmas in our home, but they’re just so darn pretty, and equally tasty, I started making them for any holiday. The perfect excuse to buy more cute cookie cutters, and sprinkles, and glitter… a girl can never have too many accessories after all.
Throw together a batch of this dough and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking (highly recommended – the bright citrus flavor really pops!). Or plop it in the freezer for up to a month, and you can bake these beauties anytime. Or bake the cookies, freeze them without icing, then thaw and decorate when you’re ready to serve them.
If you don’t do rolled sugar cookies, or are just short on time, check out my Ultimate Sugar Cookies, made with melted butter, mascarpone cheese, and a hint of orange. Creamy, chewy centers, with slightly crisp edges – these amazing cookies are my go to when I’m not in the mood to roll. No icing required either – just a dusting of sprinkles or glitter, and you’re ready to enjoy.
Okay, away we go…
The Great Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
- Citrus Sugar Cookies
- Orange Royal Icing Ingredients
- 1 (1 lb.) box confectioners sugar
- 4 teaspoons powdered egg whites (I used Just Whites)
- 1/3 cup water, plus more for thinning
- 1 tablespoon fresh tangerine juice or orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- icing recipe adapted from Epicurious
For the Icing:
- Beat all of the ingredients together for 1 minute at medium speed in a large bowl with a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment – just until everything is combined.
- Increase the speed to high and continue beating, scraping down the side of the bowl a few times with a rubber spatula, until the icing holds stiff peaks (about 3 minutes).
- This icing is thick – you’ll use part of it to outline the cookies, and add a little water to the remaining icing as directed below for filling inside the outlines.
- Cover the surface of the icing with a damp paper towel, then cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap if you are not using the icing right away. It will harden if you skip this step!
- Gather 3 disposable plastic piping bags (available at Michaels, JoAnn’s or WalMart), and 2 very small decorating tips with couplings.
- Scoop 1/3 of the icing into one small bowl, and 1/3 into another small bowl. Cover remaining icing and set aside for now.
- Add orange gel coloring to one bowl and stir until it is the color you want. Add green gel coloring to the 2nd bowl, and do the same.
- Cover the green colored icing bowl with plastic until using.
- Assemble one plastic piping bag by dropping the coupling with rings around it into the bag. Gently squeeze until it is snug, but not stretching the bag out.
- Use kitchen scissors to cut the bag as close to the coupler as you can.
- Add the tip on the outside and screw the coupling ring on to tighten.
- Flip the Top of the bag down about 1/4 of the way, and sit the bag in a tall glass.
- Use a rubber spatula to scoop the orange icing into your bag, flip sides back up, and twist bag, squeezing air out and icing down to the tip. Squeeze a little icing out to release any air bubbles.
- Outline your cookies near the edge with the orange icing in the bag. Set aside to dry (usually by the time you’ve outlined all the cookies, the ones you did first will already be dry).
- Add the remaining 1/3 of the plain icing to a small bowl and add orange gel, stirring to achieve desired color. To this icing, add more water, a teaspoon at a time so that when you scrape a spoon across the bottom of the bowl, it leaves a path for at least a few seconds, and up to 10 seconds before closing up.
- Add the icing to one of the remaining plain piping bags and cut a small opening at the tip, squeezing small amount of icing out to release any air bubbles.
- Pipe icing into the center of your outlined cookies, almost filling it in completely. Then take a toothpick and/or offset small spatula to spread icing so it meets the outline.
- Take the second bag with small decorating tip, scoop the green icing into the bag with a rubber spatula, then pipe the stem and add vines if desired, like in the photos.
- Set cookies aside to dry, once dry, store in an airtight container in single layers, separated by parchment paper. Cookies will keep for up to a week, but are best eaten within 2 or 3 days.