Pumpkin & Hazelnut Cookies with Apricot Cream Cheese Frosting

by Dea Castrejon

After graduating from college, I had an awesome opportunity to live in New York City.  For a native California girl, this was a dream come true!  I absolutely loved it there!  When it comes to food in the Big Apple, I think you could spend your whole life there and still not uncover all of its gems!  Anyway, when I lived there, one of my favorite places to treat myself was a small bakery down the block from my apartment, called Two Little Ren Hens Bakery.  During the fall/winter season, they carried a seasonal cupcake: a pumpkin cupcake with an apricot cream cheese frosting.  I am not a huge pumpkin fan (generally speaking), but wow, this is by far my most missed treat from that city!  For our cookie exchange, I thought it would be fun to try to replicate this treat in a cookie form.  Here we go!

Pumpkin & Hazelnut Cookies with Apricot Cream Cheese Frosting

*makes 4 dozen cookies

Cookie Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts (optional)

Apricot Cream Cheese Frosting:

  •  ½ cup butter, slightly softened
  • 2 (8-oz) package 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons Apricot reserve/jam


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a mixing bowl, beat 2 cups butter until fluffy.  Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until thoroughly combined. Next, add eggs and vanilla extract; mix this in until combined. Add pumpkin. Finally, add the flour slowly until incorporated.  Dough will be more wet than most cookie batters.
  • Scoop a heaping tablespoon for each cookie onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
  • While the cookies are baking, beat together all frosting ingredients until thoroughly whipped.  Frost the cookies once they are completely cooled.

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