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These pumpkin spice hazelnut cookies are covered with a sweet maple glaze and strike a great balance between hardy and delicate. They are full of delicious warm fall flavors and make the perfect treat for a fall afternoon.
This post was originally published on Oct. 3, 2013.
- Cookie ingredients and notes:
- How to make pumpkin spice hazelnut cookies step by step:
- Glaze ingredients and notes:
- How to make the maple glaze:
- Can the cookies be frozen?
- More delicious cookie recipes:
Cookie ingredients and notes:
- The butter and the cream cheese need to be at room temperature for this recipe in order to get whipped properly and to take up enough air during the whipping process. It takes about an hour to let the butter come up to room temperature after you take it out of the fridge and a bit less for the cream cheese. If you’re short on time, cut the butter into little pieces, that will speed up the softening process significantly. (Don’t try to stick the butter in the microwave, that will melt it on the surface while still leaving it ice cold in the center.)
- Cream cheese is an unusual ingredient in cookie dough but it works very nicely here. It doesn’t make the cookies taste tangy, it just adds richness and gives the cookies a nicely tender texture.
- Pumpkin spice is a spice blend made with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove, nutmeg and mace. You can buy the blend but you can also make your own. The recipe I recommend is this one by The Kitchn: How to make Pumpkin Pie Spice.
- You don’t have to remove the skins from the hazelnuts in this recipe. Just rough-chop them with the skins.
How to make pumpkin spice hazelnut cookies step by step:
Step 1. In a standing mixer or with a handheld mixer, whip 16 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter and 3/4 cup granulated sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Step 2. Whip in 2.5 teaspoons pumpkin spice and 3 tablespoons softened cream cheese.
Step 3. Whisk together 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then add them to the batter and whip until everything is well combined.
Step 4. Whip in 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, then briefly knead the dough into a ball.
Step 5. Cut the ball in half.
Step 6. Shape each half into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Step 7. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and cut out the cookies.
Step 8. Bake the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet or a sheet lined with a silicone baking mat for 10 to 12 minutes. Repeat with the second disk.*
*RECIPE NOTE: Be sure to let the cookie sheet cool down to room temperature before placing the second batch of cookies on it.
Glaze ingredients and notes:
- There is cream cheese in the glaze for these cookies as well and here you can taste it just a little bit. Mostly though the cream cheese adds great texture to the glaze and the predominant flavors are sweetness from powdered sugar and intense maple flavor from maple flavoring.
- Be sure to get high-quality maple flavoring with a strong, pure maple aroma for the glaze. You also want the flavoring to be dark brown in color in order to get the color into the glaze.
How to make the maple glaze:
Step 9. Whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon softened cream cheese, a few drops maple flavoring and 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (start with 1 tablespoon of milk, then add more to get a thick but spreadable consistency). Taste the glaze and add more maple flavoring to taste. Glaze the cookies with the brown glaze.
Step 10. Once the glaze has dried, whisk 1/4 cup powdered sugar with a splash of milk and drizzle the white glaze over the maple glaze.
Can the cookies be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze the baked and cooled, unglazed cookies in a ziploc bag for up to 3 weeks.
More delicious cookie recipes:
- Vanilla Bean Cookies
- Spiced Linzer Cookies with Dulce de Leche
- Linzer Cookies with Ginger Cardamom Raspberry Jam
- Cardamom Meringue Cookies
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Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Cookies
For the cookies:
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
For the glaze:
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 and 3/4 cups powdered sugar (divided into 1.5 cups and 1/4 cup)
- a few drops of maple flavoring
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
For the cookies:
- Whip butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Whip in the cream cheese and the pumpkin spice.
- Whisk the flour and the salt together, then whip them into the batter.
- Whip in the nuts.
- Bring the dough together by hand, form into two disks, wrap them each in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Starting with one disk, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, then cut out the cookies.
- Bake the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or with a silicone baking mat for 10-12 minutes.
- Repeat with the second disk.*
For the glaze:
- Whisk cream cheese together with 1.5 cups powdered sugar, maple flavoring and 1-2 tablespoons milk.**
- Glaze the cookies and let the glaze dry.
- Whisk the remaining powdered sugar with milk and drizzle over the glazed cookies.
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