Pumpkin Cookies a Palate Pleaser for Halloween Fun

Halloween parties are a staple of many late October social calendars. While the days leading up to Halloween are often spent working on the perfect costume, Halloween party hosts also must find the right foods to put guests in that Halloween mood. And when it comes to Halloween cuisine, no food is more on the mind than pumpkin. Halloween hosts hoping to please their guests' palates should consider the following recipe for "Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting," courtesy of the Food Network.

Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies

For the cookies:

1 cup sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons Maple syrup

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground all spice

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch ground cloves

21/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

For the frosting:

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Zest of one lemon

For Garnish:

Whole pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, cream the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and eggs. Mix to incorporate. Add the pumpkin and mix to incorporate. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool on racks. When cool, ice with the cream cheese frosting.

For the Frosting: In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, add the cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. If frosting is too thick, thin with a little more milk. Fold in the lemon zest. When cookies are cool spread with some of the frosting. Garnish with a whole pecan.