Pumpkin Snickerdoodles – This classic cinnamon-sugar cookie is given a fall makeover with pumpkin and spices!
It was the fall of my freshman year in college and I was training to be a barista at Starbucks, ironically enough. Pumpkin was in full-swing, but it was still a new-ish thing (pumpkin spice lattes were introduced about 3 years earlier) so only Starbucks was serving pumpkin beverages and, from what I can remember, they were the only place serving pumpkin drinks and desserts (aside from your traditional pumpkin pie).
As a barista, I not only had to know how to make this drink, but I had to try it so I could explain the drink to curious customers. It was then that I tried my first pumpkin anything: pumpkin spice frappuccino. And it was glorious! Spicy and warming (yes, even in frozen form!) and full of coffee-flavored goodness. I loved it! Who knew this Hispanic girl from Florida would like this stuff?! It was completely new to me but somehow felt familiar. I can thank the cinnamon for that.
And so, a whole new world of foods was unveiled to me. I tried the pumpkin lattes, the scones, the loaf, the muffin, everything! And then, a couple years later (and of legal age) I would try pumpkin beer and I’d fall in love with craft beer. So, if you think about it, pumpkin spice has opened my eyes to some many possibilities. Deep.
Jump forward five years and my taste for pumpkin would lead me to a new recipe: pumpkin snickerdoodles cookies. I saw these on a fellow blogger’s site and needed to have them! I didn’t even know what a snickerdoodle was but I’d been seduced by the word “pumpkin” that I didn’t even care.
And I’ve been making them ever since. Side note: I have since had a normal snickerdoodle and it’s… okay. I think pumpkin snickerdoodles are waaaaay better because of the spices in the dough. Original snickerdoodles taste like a sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar, which, to me, tasted boring. Yup, I said it.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it yields a soft, cakey cookie. Each bite is like a mix between a scone and a muffin and full of sugar and spice and everything nice. Yup, I really just said that. There is also a slight crispness on the outside of the cookie. You can thank the coating of cinnamon and sugar for that.
As always, my favorite part of the post is giving you guys some tips and tricks for making this recipe go smoothly. Here we go:
- This dough is super wet and sticky when it’s first made. Therefore, it is so important that you completely chill it for at least 8 hours to firm it up. That will keep the dough from spreading like a pancake when it bakes.
- Before I chill the dough, I scoop it into even balls so that it’s easier on me when it comes time to bake. Chilled dough has a tendency to be pretty annoying to scoop since it’s so firm. So I like to scoop it before it chills so that I don’t have to worry about that later. Plus, when it’s time to bake, all you’ll need to do is roll the balls of dough in cinnamon-sugar and bake. Boom. Easy as that.
- You can control how much cinnamon you put in the cinnamon-sugar coating. I only put 1 tablespoon and think that’s just enough. But give it a taste before you add any more to see if it’s good enough for you. You can add up to 2 tablespoons, in total.
- Let them cook completely before attempting to store them. Because they are cakier (is that a word?) in texture than most cookies, they tend to stick together if they are still warm.
These are far and away my favorite sweet treats to make in the fall. What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 sticks butter unsalted, softened
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
For coating the cookies:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Making the dough
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and spices until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar and eggs until light a fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg and beat at medium-low speed until combined. Add pumpkin puree and continue on medium-low until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on medium-low until incorporated before adding the next 1/2 cup. When all dry ingredients are incorporated. Remove paddle attachment and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Give the batter a couple mixes until all the scrapes are incorporated.
- Using a cookie scoop (mine is the size of a tablespoon), take a heaping scoop of dough and place on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat for all of the dough until gone. We are going to place these in the fridge so they can be touching. Refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight so that the dough can get fully-chilled.
Baking the cookies
- Once the dough is chilled, remove from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/4 cup of sugar for rolling. Add up to one more tablespoon of cinnamon, if you want a more intense cinnamon flavor. I recommend tasting it with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon before adding more.
- Grab one chilled dough ball and roll in between your palms so the ball is perfectly smooth. Then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture until it is completely coated. Add dough ball to a prepared sheet. Repeat until all the dough is prepared. Make sure all dough balls are about 2 inches apart because they will spread while baking.
- Place cookie sheets in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until the edges are slightly crisped and the center is cooked. Make sure to rotate the cookies about 6 minutes in so they bake evenly.
- Once cooked, place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
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