Snickerdoodles are such an underrated cookie. Sure, they aren't laced with chocolate or other overly decadent ingredients, but they are a great all-purpose dessert. You can have them with tea or coffee, or just as a quick sweet snack.
This pumpkin version is my favorite for this time of year. Mixing in some pumpkin puree gives the cookies a bit more moisture and also a great color. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, but noticeable. Especially with a sugar-cinnamon-nutmeg crust, the cookie has a very Octoberfeel to it.
The Key to a Good Snickerdoodle: Sugar & Spice (on the Outside!)
Instead of mixing all the flavors into the dough, the key to a good snickerdoodle is to roll the dough in an intense sugar and spice mix. Completely coat spoon-sized dough balls in the mixture.
As the cookies bake, the crust will spread, harden a bit, and crack in places. It's a beautiful thing and also super-delicious. While a lot of cookies are best when warm, I think these snickerdoodles are actually better after they cool off. That gives the sugar crust a chance to firm up a bit. The cookie ends up having a slight crunch to it, but is still super fluffy on the inside.
These are one of those unassuming cookies. If you bring them into work or to a party, they might sit untouched for a bit. But once the word spreads, they will be instantly gone.
Make them and share them, but save a few for yourself.
Makes 18 cookies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream together butter, the sugars, and the pumpkin puree until it's smooth. Mix in the eggs one at a time.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, tartar, baking soda, and salt. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Mix it just enough to combine the ingredients, but try not to over mix the cookie dough.
In a small bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
Measure out heaping tablespoons of dough. Roll the cookie dough into a ball and then roll it in the sugar mixture. Place the rolled cookie on the baking sheet. Repeat until the dough is gone. You should get about 18 medium-sized cookies out of the batch.
Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes until they are slightly puffed and golden brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool before serving. Keep extra cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix for this recipe.
(Image credits: Nick Evans)