Icing for Pumpkin Cookies

My mother has been making iced pumpkin cookies since before I was born. Years ago she saw an article in a magazine showing how to cut a circle out of cookie dough, turn it into a pumpkin shape, ice it, and decorate it with tiny pieces of black licorice. In the early years she would use tweezers to decorate the little pumpkin faces. She eventually found a pumpkin cookie cutter and expanded her candy selections to make the cookies that make her beloved by many.

There have been years where she would make over 800 cookies and share them with friends near and far. I was always sent a care package of carefully wrapped cookies to share with my dorm friends in college and many friends and neighbors have been blessed with cookies over the years. Today, with her permission, I’m sharing her icing recipe. It has the perfect consistency and she has perfected the proportions of red to yellow food color to make pumpkin orange.

Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe and ice the cookies with this yummy orange frosting. I like to pull a tablespoon out and tint it green before I add the red and yellow. My mother makes so many cookies that she makes an entire batch of green and prefers to mix the food color with the milk. Whichever way you choose, these fun cookies make a great activity to do with you kids or grandchildren.

Perfect Pumpkin Icing (From My Mother)

1/4 Cup Margarine at room temperature (Mom like Blue Bonnet Brand and says Butter does not work well.)

1 Pound Powdered Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/4 Cup Milk

1/4 teaspoon red food coloring**

1/4 teaspoon yellow food coloring**


In a medium bowl use an electric mixer to beat the margarine until soft. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. (If you are only making the orange, add the food coloring to the milk. If you need to pull out 1 Tablespoon to make green, wait to add the food coloring until it is completely mixed, then color the icing.)

Ice the cookies with the orange icing and add a tiny tip of green at the top. Immediately decorate with candy to make faces on the pumpkins. Let the cookies dry on a plate or cookie sheet for 8 hours or overnight. The icing will form a crust on the top allowing you stack the cookies.


**Note Use the liquid food coloring found in the spice aisle at your grocery store, not the gel food coloring found in craft stores.