Well, it happened again. I bought into the “pumpkin shortage” in October and am left with an extra can of orange vegetable goop. I love the goop, but it’s hard to think of things to do with it, especially after the holidays and all the baking and cookies and…
…Wait, cookies? Hm, maybe not so hard to think of things after all.
Once cookie I just can’t get my head around is the snickerdoodle. I guess it’s because I never had one until a year or so ago, so I have no nostalgic childhood memories of buttery sugar cookies rolled in crunchy cinnamon sugar. (It was all ginger molasses, all the way for me!) Even though the first one I had was good, it just didn’t impress me. I figured there had to be some way to make it more appealing, and eventually I realized what that was.
Pumpkin + spice = awesome. Plain old cinnamon would sure be fine, what with the spice grinder and whole spices I stocked up on for my Christmas cookie extravaganza, but since I’d already mixed up a batch of my gingerbread spice blend for marshmallows I decided to go with that.
Since the recipe I found for pumpkin snickerdoodles only called for white sugar and you can’t REALLY have anything gingerbread flavored without good old molasses flavor, I decided to add a little light brown sugar. Only a little, and only light brown because these cookies are soft like cake.
The texture reminds me of the whoopie pies I made back in the day, nice and round and fluffy, just the way I like my whoopie pies. These would be excellent sandwiched with your favorite whoopie pie filling…cream cheese, chocolate, caramel, dulce de leche???
Oh yeah, they really are that orange inside. That means they must have a lot of beta carotene…which means they’re healthy, right? :D
Pumpkin Gingerbread Spice Snickerdoodles (adapted from For the Love of Cooking):
For the cookies:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown or demerara sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup pumpkin
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 tsp gingerbread spice blend*
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Sugar Coating:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp gingerbread spice blend*
In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the bowl to ensure that it’s fully incorporated. Beat in the pumpkin and scrape down again. Combine the remaining dry ingredients and whisk or sift together (if your baking soda or flour has clumps definitely sift). With the mixer off, add all the dry at once and mix on low speed until almost completely incorporated. Scrape down the beater and bowl (especially the bottom) and briefly mix on low speed until everything is fully combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Combine the sugar coating ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and form into balls slightly smaller than golf balls. Thoroughly coat each one in the sugar coating and place at least 1 1/2″ apart on the baking sheets. Flatten each slightly with the heel of your hand. Bake for about 10 minutes, turning the sheets halfway through. Remove from oven when the cookies are firm to the touch on top. Cool for about 1 minute on the sheet then move to a rack to finish cooling.
Makes about 24.
*I make my own blend of gingerbread spices. It’s phenomenal when made with freshly-ground spices (which is why my cookies have bigger specks of some spices and little ginger fibers here and there) but is also really nice with pre-ground spices, too. I usually measure one part as a teaspoon when I make a batch.
- 2 parts cinnamon
- 2 parts ginger
- 1 part nutmeg
- 1 part cloves
- 1 part allspice