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Browned Butter Pumpkin Cookies (Perfect for Holidays!)

If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate treat this holiday season, look no further than these Browned Butter Pumpkin Cookies.

Made with almond flour, dark brown sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon sugar, these cookies are seriously the perfect holiday dessert.

There’s something about this time of year that really gets my creative juices flowing when it comes to baked goods.

Maybe it’s the pumpkin spice candles or the chill in the air, but I’ve always thought of winter as the baking season.

From these Healthy Power Cookies to The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, I’m finding myself baking all sorts of cookies this year.

I mean, is there really anything better than making the whole house smell absolutely amazing?

Browned Butter Pumpkin Cookies have quickly become a favorite in my house. Not only are they pumpkin-flavored, but these cookies are the perfect option if you’re looking for a festive, flavorful, and family-friendly dessert.

If you’re like me and you constantly have leftover pumpkin puree hanging out in the fridge, this holiday cookie recipe is a great way to use it up.

These cookies are easy to make, loaded with warming fall flavors, and utilize ingredients that you probably already have at home.

Whip up a batch over the weekend to enjoy at home or bring some along to your next holiday party. No matter the occasion, you’re gonna love them!

Tips for Browning Butter

It’s no secret that the star of these Browned Butter Pumpkin Cookies is browned butter.

If you’re not already on the bandwagon, browned butter is exactly what it sounds like.

In a nutshell, browning butter is the process of melting your butter over medium heat to separate the water from the milk solids.

The water will evaporate while the solids cook and, well, brown. The result is an absolutely crave-worthy butter that adds tremendous flavor to any baked dish that it is paired with.

Browned butter is what takes this cookie recipe from delicious to mouth-watering.

To brown your butter, you will just need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Melting. Fairly self-explanatory, you will first need to melt your butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bubbling. This part of the process takes a little longer and requires a bit of whisking on your part. After the butter melts, it will start to bubble and get clearer in color. All you have to do is keep on whisking.
  3. Foaming. During this phase, the bubbles will start to foam. You will need to keep whisking so you can see what’s going on underneath the surface.
  4. Browning. As you continue whisking, you should notice the butter begin to turn a beautiful golden-brown color. From there, you will see the milk solids forming on the bottom of the pan. Once they brown, remove the pan from the heat and keep on whisking. The milk solids will continue to heat until they form a rich, amber color, which is what we’re aiming for.

The entire browning butter process takes about 10 or so minutes, so be patient. Also, be aware that the actual browning will take place at the very end, and it usually happens pretty quickly.

Therefore, make sure you are keeping a close eye on your butter throughout the process. As soon as the milk solids brown, you want to take the pan off the burner and remove them from the hot pan.

Otherwise, you could accidentally burn it. And make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get those last, scrumptious drops. (Trust me, they’re worth it.)

One final note: the amount of browned butter you end up with will be less than the amount you started with (remember how the water evaporates), so make sure to brown a larger amount of butter than you need.

Key Ingredients

To make these delicious gluten-free holiday cookies, you will need the following key ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter. For these browned butter cookies, butter is definitely a necessity. Make sure to use the unsalted kind, as salted butter will throw off the ratio of the ingredients.
  • Almond flour. I use almond flour in this recipe because it’s delicious, nutritious, and gluten-free. However, feel free to swap out your favorite kind, just keep in mind you may need to adjust the quantities of some of the other ingredients.
  • Sea salt. A pinch of sea salt helps to enhance the sweetness of these cookies.
  • Dark brown sugar. I love using dark brown sugar in this recipe because it has notes of caramel and molasses. It goes a long way in achieving the deeply irresistible flavor we’re going for.
  • Pumpkin pie spice. I love baking with pumpkin pie spice this time of year. You can make your own from home by combining cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and ground cloves.
  • Egg yolk. This recipe uses just egg yolk because it takes advantage of the yolk’s high fat content. The fat gives these cookies a velvety texture and that extra-rich flavor.
  • Maple syrup. This will serve as a natural sweetener for these cookies. I always opt for pure maple syrup for the added health benefits.
  • Pumpkin puree. Besides being totally delicious and perfect for fall, pumpkin puree is actually incredibly good for you, which makes it a total win in my house.
  • Cinnamon sugar. As if these cookies aren’t already delicious enough, you will finish them off by dusting them with cinnamon sugar. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step.

How to Make Browned Butter Pumpkin Cookies

Not only are these holiday cookies beyond delicious, but they are also super easy to make. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Continue to stir and cook until it reaches a dark color. This should take about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour melted browned butter into a glass and place in the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  5. In a larger bowl, whisk browned butter with brown sugar until combined. Add egg, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie puree and mix well.
  6. Slowly pour dry ingredients into the large bowl and combine. Your batter should be manageable. If it is still too wet, add some more almond flour.
  7. Form into balls using a cookie scoop or clean hands. Dip the balls in cinnamon sugar and then flatten them onto a baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to darken.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

These pumpkin cookies are the perfect desserts for first-time bakers and cookie connoisseurs alike. Here are some of my top tips and tricks for making the best cookies:

  • Blot your pumpkin. I know this sounds silly, but you’re going to want to blot your pumpkin puree for best baking results. Because pumpkins carry a lot of moisture, they are a threat for cake-y cookies. To combat this, draw some of the liquid out of your pumpkin puree with a paper towel before baking. It really does make a huge difference, you’re going to have to trust me on this.
  • Don’t over-bake. The key to a soft, delicious cookie is taking them out of the oven when they’re still a bit underdone. The cookies will continue to cook outside of the oven, causing them to firm up a bit as they cool. Therefore, pull your cookies out of the oven when the edges are just browned and the centers are still a bit soft.
  • Use a cookie scoop. A cookie scoop is a worthwhile investment for frequent cookie bakers like myself (and hopefully now you!). Not only does it help you make evenly sized cookies, but it will save you a ton of time in the long run.

How to Store Browned Butter Pumpkin Cookies

I don’t think I have to tell you that these cookies taste best when they’re warm and fresh out of the oven. However, I totally understand how important storing cookies is during this time of year.

To store your leftovers, simply seal them up in an airtight storage container or bag. Then, you can keep them at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

If you need to store them for longer, you can freeze your cookies for up to 3 months.

Want to prep the cookie dough ahead of time? Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this holiday cookie recipe:

Why didn’t my cookies spread in the oven?

If your cookies didn’t spread in the oven, this probably means you used too much flour. For the best cookie results, it is so important to spoon your flour into a measuring cup and level it off. Otherwise, your dough may be too thick to bake properly.

Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Absolutely! Around this time of year, I know how fun it can be to store your dough ahead of time to make cookies later in the week.

To store your dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight bag or container. Then, store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Are these cookies gluten-free?

Yes! Browned Butter Pumpkin Cookies are gluten-free because they’re made with almond flour, making them the perfect treat for anyone, regardless of gluten intolerance.

More Fall Cookie Recipes

If you liked this pumpkin cookie recipe, try these next:

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Browned Butter Pumpkin Cookies (Perfect for Holidays!)

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Browned Butter Pumpkin Cookies are the ultimate holiday treat for the season. Bursting with warm fall flavors and super easy to make, you won’t be able to stop at just one!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Continue to stir and cook until it reaches a dark color. This should take about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour melted browned butter into a glass and place in the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  5. In a larger bowl, whisk browned butter with brown sugar until combined. Add egg, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie puree and mix well.
  6. Slowly pour dry ingredients into the large bowl and combine. Your batter should be manageable. If it is still too wet, add some more almond flour.
  7. Form into balls using a cookie scoop or clean hands. Dip the balls in cinnamon sugar and then flatten them onto a baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to darken.

Keywords: browned butter pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cookies, holiday cookie recipe, gluten-free cookies

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Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you.

A health expert, author, and creative entrepreneur

I’m Elizabeth

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