Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the cookies: In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. Whisk together, with an electric mixer, the butter and sugar. Add the egg, molasses, butter extract, sweet potato and orange zest. Carefully fold dry ingredients into butter-sugar mixture with a rubber spatula. Stir in the pecans, if using. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Decorate with cream cheese icing.
For the cream cheese icing: In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the maple or vanilla extract, and mix on high speed until incorporated. Pipe the cream cheese frosting on cookies in any desired pattern with a piping bag or a plastic baggie with a hole cut at the corner. You can also warm the frosting in a microwave for a few seconds until smooth and drizzle the frosting onto the cookies.
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.
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