Where do I even start with these little bites of heaven! Brown sugar shortbread filled with pumpkin kiss ganache – yes, there’s pumpkin kisses in there! Then there’s the chocolate drizzle and zip of sea salt that basically makes life complete. They’re buttery, full of warm spices and they scream fall. And speaking of fall, can someone please tell me how on earth it’s October already? I don’t know how this happened so quickly, but if these cookies are any indication, I like where it’s going!
October also equals “bring on the pumpkin” and I like to ease into this pumpkin thing with pumpkin kisses, especially pumpkin kiss ganache. You may remember the Pumpkin Kiss Brownies that have a pool of pumpkin kiss ganache parked on top of them. I still can’t even handle those. This time I knew I wanted to make a cookie and shortbread sounded like the perfect match. Not just any shortbread, but brown sugar shortbread filled with cinnamon and nutmeg. If only we had smellagram.
Now I have to warn you that the shortbread are so good that they have been know to disappear before the ganache is even made… Also keep in mind that since it’s shortbread, it’s all butter so you want to roll the dough out while it’s still kind of cold.
The pumpkin kiss ganache works so well with the shortbread because the ganache is sweet, but the shortbread is warm and full of spices, so it’s all really happy together. Another plus is you only need half the bag of pumpkin kisses for the recipe so you can take care of that 😉 For those of you who can’t get pumpkin kisses where you live, I suggest using a white chocolate ganache in place of it.
To finish them off, I couldn’t decide between white or dark chocolate so I used both. Dark chocolate drizzled with sea salt – I am all about it. White chocolate drizzled with freshly grated nutmeg and a sprinkle of sea salt too – I’m all about that one as well. Let’s just say you should probably try both so you can make an informed decision!
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 5 ounces pumpkin kisses
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- white and/or dark chocolate
- sea salt for sprinkling and/or freshly grated nutmeg
- Cream butter and sugar together till light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract, mixing till combined.
- Add in flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg a little at a time just till everything is incorporated.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill till firm, preferably overnight.
- Remove dough from fridge and let rest to take the chill off. You want to roll this when it is still chilled - not brick hard, but cold enough that it rolls easily.
- Dust your surface and rolling pin with flour when rolling.
- Using pumpkin cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Chill rolled cookie dough so that it is COLD when it goes in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake shortbread for about 12-13 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Keep a close eye on them.
- Bring cream up to a scald and pour over kisses.
- Stir together till smooth and refrigerate till it sets up. This is a small amount so it should take about 20-25 minutes.
- Once the ganache sets up, spoon into a piping bag.
- Pipe ganache on completely cooled shortbread cookie and sandwich by gently pressing 2 cookies together.
- Chill cookies till firm.
- Drizzle white or dark chocolate across cookies and sprinkle with sea salt or freshly grated nutmeg or both!
This is shortbread dough so it is all butter and gets soft fairly quickly. This is why I suggest rolling out the cookie dough when it is still cold.
If you find the dough getting too soft just pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes.
Dust your surface and rolling pin with flour when you're rolling these. Before you bake them, brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush.
Making sure the cookie dough is cold when it goes in the oven ensures the pumpkins will keep their shape and bake evenly.
These cookies freeze beautifully.
If you cannot find pumpkin kisses, I suggest using white chocolate ganache.