2012 Holiday Collection: Gluten-Free Frosted Pumpkin Currant Spice Cookies

These gluten-free pumpkin spice cookies are from my book, Gluten-Free Cookies. The soft, cakelike spice cookies are great made with either fresh or canned pumpkin. The browned-butter frosting lends a celebratory feeling. I like them best with dried zante currants, but chopped raisins or dried cranberries work well too.

Frosted Pumpkin Currant Spice Cookies
Makes 36 to 48 cookies

2/3 cup brown rice flour
3 tablespoons potato starch
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup dried zante currants
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1/2 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree

Browned Butter Frosting:
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream

In a medium bowl, sift together brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and spices. Whisk in almond flour.

In a small bowl, toss currants and walnuts together.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, with the speed set to medium, cream the butter. Add brown sugar and honey. Beat until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg and beat another 1 to 2 minutes. Add pumpkin puree and mix until thoroughly combined. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the currants and walnuts. Chill in a covered bowl,  for 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375oF. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Using a small cookie scoop, drop rounded teaspoons of dough onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies, still on parchment, to wire racks. Cool for 5 more minutes. Frost while cookies are still warm.

For Browned Butter Frosting: In a small saucepan, melt butter and heat until it foams. Reduce heat to low and cook until the foam along the edges begins to turn golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar. Add cream slowly, until proper consistency for spreading is attained.

One at a time, invert each cookie, dip top in icing, and swirl. Place cookie on wire rack until icing dries and cookie is completely cool.

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week, layered between sheets of parchment or wax paper.

Baker’s note: Zante currants are dried, seedless black grapes which are smaller and more tart than raisins.