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EatingWell: Sugar and pumpkin spice and everything nice

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This delicious cookie is all treat, no trick.

Instant espresso powder gives these soft, cakey cookies a subtle yet recognizable coffee flavor. Spread with cream cheese frosting (with more pumpkin pie spice flavors) and sprinkle with cinnamon to finish. To make these cookies kid-friendly, simply omit the espresso powder.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies

Serves 1

Active Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

3 cups white whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 (15-ounce) can unseasoned pumpkin puree

2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup grapeseed or canola oil

3 tablespoons milk, divided

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice plus 1 teaspoon, divided

3 teaspoons instant espresso powder, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Beat eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar and oil in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer until well combined, about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, 2 teaspoons espresso powder and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, mixing until just combined after each addition.

4.Using 2 tablespoons per cookie, drop mounds of the dough onto the prepared pans, at least 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies until firm and dry to the touch, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.

5. Beat cream cheese, butter and confectioners’ sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon milk and 1 teaspoon each pumpkin pie spice and espresso powder in a small bowl; beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Spread the frosting on the cookies.

Tasty tip

To make ahead, refrigerate for up to three days.

Recipe nutrition per serving: 127 Calories, Total Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 13 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber: 1 g, Total Sugars: 11 g, Added Sugars: 10 g, Protein: 2 g, Sodium: 101 mg, Potassium: 42 mg, Iron: 1 mg, Folate: 3 mcg, Calcium: 17 mg, Vitamin A: 1403 IU, Vitamin C: 0 mg.

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)

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