Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Oat Jumbles with Brown Butter Glaze

Did you know that in the mid-1800s, cookies were referred to as jumbles? I learned this in The Essential New York Times Cook Book and I think this early name is delightful. I have an image of a creation that is jumbled together using simple, homey ingredients. I’ve named one of my favorite cookies a jumble because, well – I just think “jumble” when I look at them! And with pumpkins in season and Halloween approaching, I want to share them with you.

You may have noticed that I adore pumpkin in any form, savory or sweet! Today I’m going with a sweet option. These cookies are thick and soft, almost cake-like. I’ve added chocolate chips to them in the past, and you can certainly do this if you’d like, but I find I prefer their pure pumpkin flavor (and these do pack a lot of pumpkin flavor). The cookies are made more wholesome with the addition of oats and some whole wheat flour – so you can feel a little bit virtuous indulging in them!

But did I mention the brown butter glaze? Oh my ... brown butter makes everything insanely delicious. I remember the first time I made brown butter, watching the brown flecks appear and swirl in the pan, while inhaling the heavenly scent. Anytime you need melted butter for a recipe, it’s worth taking the extra time to brown it. It especially enhances fall produce like apples and squash beautifully. This nutty, buttery glaze elevates these pumpkin cookies to new heights, making them a delectable Halloween (or anytime) treat.

Pumpkin Oat Jumbles
Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
By King Arthur Flour
Makes 20-22 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur, of course!)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
15 ounces (1 can) plain pumpkin puree

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy and smooth. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Beat in the egg, then slowly beat in the oats. Add the flours in alternately with the pumpkin puree. Chill the dough for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a large cookie scoop (mine is about 1/4 cup) or large spoon, drop balls of dough onto the cookie sheet (9-10 at a time). Bake for 14 minutes, until they’re set. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan. The cookies will be soft. Drizzle with Brown Butter Glaze (recipe follows) or serve plain.

Brown Butter Glaze
Makes enough to glaze about 20 cookies

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat and cook until it is golden brown and has little flecks in it, about 3-4 minutes (watch closely). Immediately pour the butter over the powdered sugar and scrape the pan to get the brown bits. Stir together and add in the milk, one tablespoon at a time until a smooth glaze is formed. Use the glaze right away, since it will harden.


  1. First of all - brown know my thoughts on brown butter.
    These look just the perfect thing for me to take into the girls' preschool next week for a Halloween treat. Do you think I could reduce the amount of sugar by say half or do you think that would be too much.

  2. Brown butter glaze! Yum! I love spicy pumpkin and oats and all that fall yumminess. I'm sure these made the whole house smell amazing! Who needs potpourri? We can just bake! :-)

    I do know your thoughts on brown butter, Lisa! I think these would work well with reduced sugar - the pumpkin should keep them moist. I would reduce the white sugar more since the brown adds so much flavor. I need to play around more with decreasing sugar in baked goods (and using other sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup). Let me know how they turn out! :)

  4. @Lauren
    You are so right, Lauren! Fall baking creates the best aromas.

  5. It's a good thing I don't know where you live because you might find me in your kitchen one night with my hand in the cookie jar...

  6. @B
    You made me smile, B! You are welcome to sneak cookies anytime. :)

  7. First, I LOVE the name jumbles. I think we should return to it. Second, brown butter it amazing! What a fantastic use of it!

  8. @Mikaela Cowles
    Thanks, Mikaela! I just saw a recipe using brown butter in a dressing for kale salad...doesn't that sound incredible?

  9. These look so delicious!! And I agree that browned butter makes everything and anything wonderful. And this must be the best time of year for incorporating it in recipes - I posted a Brown Butter Apple Pie today with Cheddar Crust today :-) Now I want to make these cookies!

    Thank you, Susan! I am headed straight to your blog to check out the apple pie. Your timing is perfect...we have guests coming to visit this weekend and I was just thinking that I want to make a scrumptious apple pie. Yours will do the trick (and be a treat!).

  11. I made them and they were great. I used just 1/2 a cup of brown sugar and they were fine - but I don't have a big sweet tooth.

    I did cut back on the confectioners' sugar though and that was not a good idea as the glaze was a bit too runny.

    Delicious! Thanks.

    Oh good! I'm so glad you enjoyed them and they turned out ok with the reduced sugar. I may modify the recipe and decrease the sugar the next time I make them - especially if glazing them, it seems they would be sweet enough. Thanks for letting me know!

  13. Hannah, this recipe looks like a winner. Do you use quick cooking oats for this recipe? I'm going to try it with cream cheese frosting and let you know how it comes out.

  14. @ChefMoji
    Thank you, ChefMoji! I use the old-fashioned oats...I haven't tried baking with quick oats before. Cream cheese frosting will be terrific on these! I hope you enjoy them. Have a great weekend!


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